There are many ways you can try to prevent a car crash. However, once a crash occurs, there are several actions you should take. Because crashes by nature are unexpected, it can be helpful to be prepared for the possibility of a crash by familiarizing yourself with these actions ahead of time.
Address safety concerns
Immediately after the crash, try to remain calm. Look around you to see if your vehicle ended up in a place that could be dangerous to you or to other traffic on the road. If it is, try to pull your car over to the side of the road. Then, put on your hazard lights and turn off your vehicle. If you have them, you may consider using cones or warning triangles.
Next, check over yourself, your passengers and others involved in the crash for injuries. If anyone is injured, you should call 911 immediately and request an ambulance. Some injuries people experience in car crashes can be very severe, and must be treated immediately. For example, if you suspect someone may have a spinal cord injury, it is important for that person to receive emergency medical help as soon as possible. Someone with this type of injury must also remain still until that help arrives.
If the crash caused injury or death, it legally must be reported to law enforcement. Regardless of injuries, it may be beneficial to request a police officer for any car crash. If an officer comes to the scene, he or she can help collect information about the crash to be compiled in a police report.
It is important to exchange information with the other drivers involved with the crash. Try to collect names and contact information, as well as vehicle descriptions, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance companies and policy numbers.
If possible, try to also collect the names and contact information for witnesses and the police officer who responds to the incident. Also, if you can, it is often beneficial to have photos of the crash site and damage to all involved vehicles.
However, as you collect information, it is important that you do not say to anyone that the accident was your fault. Even if you think you may have caused the crash, you do not have access to all the facts at this time. For example, you have no way of knowing what was going on in the other vehicle at the time of the crash. It is usually better not to speculate the cause of the crash and focus on just the facts of what happened, instead.
After you are allowed to leave the crash site, it can be valuable to take several additional actions. If you have not yet notified your insurance company, it can be beneficial to do so as soon as possible. You should also get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not show immediate signs of injury. Additionally, you may need to file an accident report with the Department of Public Safety, if a responding officer did not file one on your behalf.
Being involved in a car crash can be terrifying, and dealing with the problems caused by a car crash can be stressful. If you were seriously injured in a car crash, you may be worried about your recovery, your medical expenses and the loss of income while you recover. If you were seriously injured because of the actions of a negligent driver, you may be able to receive compensation. No one should have to suffer because of someone else’s negligent actions.