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Do You Really Know What to Do After a Car Crash?
It may be the first time you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Admittedly, it can be an overwhelming experience. Even if you weren’t severely injured, you might be uncertain about your course of action. Do you really know what to do after a car crash?
Maybe it isn’t your first automobile wreck. Or, possibly you’re too stunned to know how to proceed. If possible, you should do your best to gain your senses. Even if you feel the accident was at least partially your fault, there are some things you need to do when you’re involved in a car crash.
Checklist for Car Accident Victims
Although your first instinct might be to panic, you should try to remain calm. Yes, that might seem like an insurmountable task. With that in mind, here’s a checklist you should mentally consider:
- Assessing the situation: Are you too badly injured to exit your car? Then, attempt to stay still until someone can come to your aid. If you can access your cell phone, dial 911. Immediately. If you can safely exit your vehicle, do so.
- Checking for injuries: In addition to checking for your own wounds, communicate with others in your vehicle. Also, establish if anyone was hurt in any other vehicles. This is vital to report to emergency services.
- Moving your car: In checking out the accident, you may determine that your landing point leaves you in a vulnerable position. Quickly snap some photographs of the accident scene. If you could be in danger, move your car off to the shoulder to avoid a subsequent crash. Otherwise, leave the vehicles so that the police can properly investigate the accident scene.
- Communicating with law enforcement: Unfortunately, some people let others do the talking for them. If you were drinking and driving, you might want to keep quiet. However, if the accident was clearly the other party’s fault, there’s no need for silence. Don’t be afraid to report that you saw another driver texting while they were behind or the wheel. Or, that a car ran a red light and caused the collision.
- Documenting everything: These days, almost everyone has a smartphone that doubles as a camera. You should not just take photographs of the point of impact. Take pictures of road signs, as well as the license plates of all vehicles. If you can secure a photo of the involved parties, take one. You should also attempt to get the names of all eyewitnesses, including those who may have been passengers in another vehicle.
- Contacting Your Insurance Company: If it’s your first accident, you may not realize the importance of calling your own insurance company. Even if the crash wasn’t your fault, your own carrier would become involved with processing a claim on your behalf.
- Keeping a Record of Information: Start a file of all information related to the car crash. Make a log of your interactions with the insurance company and all medical providers. Do it in a chronological format.
Injured in an automobile accident and not sure of your rights? The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has many years of experience handling personal injury claims. Call us to set up a complimentary appointment.