The moments after a car accident can be scary and confusing. Knowing what you need to do to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road around you after a collision can be a daunting task.
Car accidents can cause panic. This can result in drivers making mistakes that limit their right to compensation. Read on to learn what steps to take after an accident so you can protect your rights. Click tjryanlaw.com/orange-county-car-accident-lawyer/ for more information.
Check that Everyone’s Safe
The first thing you can do at the scene of an accident is to ensure the safety of those involved. If you get into a car accident, you should assess your physical state first. You may be mentally flustered, and this is normal. It’s important to focus on assessing all the parts of your body for severe injury if you can.
In the aftermath of your accident, you’ll want to move your body slowly to assess any injuries, careful not to make them worse. If you realize you can safely move your neck and back, then you can move on to other parts of your body.
Once you begin to move a bit and feel your mental clarity returning, inspect your limbs. Also, check for blood, tingling sensations, and pain. You can also use your mirrors to check for cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
After you feel that you are physically safe, proceed to inspect others. If you have passengers in your car, call out their names and check on them. The post-accident adrenaline rush can numb victims to some of the pain they may be experiencing. That’s why accident professionals suggest encouraging passengers to do a body scan while you look them over for injuries.
What to Do If Someone Is Injured After an Accident
If you or someone else in your car has suffered an injury in an accident, contact emergency services immediately. Accident professionals suggest calling 911 yourself if you can and giving them your exact location. When you can’t do this yourself, first aid professionals suggest asking a passenger or bystander to call for you.
It’s important to not move from your vehicle unless you have to for safety reasons. If someone in your car has a head or neck injury, moving them could worsen their injuries. First response professionals recommend that you try not to move anyone who has a serious injury as you could compromise their safety.
If your car is in a dangerous position, you can move it somewhere safe. Moving your car can compromise the accident scene so only do this if you absolutely must. You’ll want to take pictures of the accident scene before moving your vehicle, to protect your access to future claims. If everyone in your car is safe, check the drivers and passengers of the other cars involved in the accident using precautionary methods.
If your accident is more than just a fender bender or you suspect someone is injured, call 911 to get an ambulance and police at the scene as soon as possible. Even when accidents are minor, calling the police to get a police report of your accident can help you to recover your actual damages.
Crash Site Safety Protocols
What you do after your accident can affect the outcome. If your accident is minor, you can call the non-emergency police hotline for assistance. If you have flares, set them up around the scene and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to your accident.
It’s against the law in many states to leave the scene of an accident before law enforcement arrives. So stay at the scene until the police come to release you.
Once you’ve ensured everyone’s safe, personal injury accident professionals suggest you:
- Take pictures of the location where the accident happened
- Move the cars as soon as you can after taking pictures of the scene
- Never admit to any wrongdoing or apologize. Do what is necessary to get medical attention without admitting guilt or fault
- Exchange contact and auto insurance information with the other drivers on the scene
- Get a copy of the accident report
The first things you do after an accident can make all the difference in your future claim. It’s important to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers when involved in an accident. Choose your next steps wisely, and consider letting a personal injury accident professional assist you when necessary.