We all hope to never find ourselves as one of the affected parties at the scene of a car accident. It can be scary to imagine ourselves, family members, or loved ones being involved in an accident. When we think about how we might respond in that situation with the risk of injury or even death looming, we can become emotional.
And yet, we should plan for how we will react at the scene of a car accident should we have the ability. After going through something traumatic like a car accident, you’re likely to be distracted and irrational. We don’t blame you.
The Richards Firm would simply like you to be aware of what to do at the scene of a car accident. While we truly hope you are never involved in a collision, these pointers can save you time, stress, and even money in the long run. It can also be helpful should you ever witness a car accident.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident?
Take care of yourself or any injured persons involved
The health and safety of yourself and anyone in your car should always be the top priority at the scene of an accident.
Get yourself and anyone else involved to a safe location nearest the accident scene, out of the way of passing traffic, until police or medical help arrives. Once everyone’s safety has been secured, if possible, you can move on to the following steps. Sometimes, you may not be able to exit your vehicle, so you should wait for emergency crews to respond to assist you.
Call the Police
Either you or someone else at the scene should call the police as soon as possible. Local law enforcement will help secure everyone’s safety and well being and document the collision. They will also help to coordinate any emergency medical services that may be necessary.
When the police gather information for a report, be sure to give the police an accurate and detailed record of what you experienced. This report will likely be necessary to file a claim with your insurance company later on. You should also encourage any potential witnesses to the collision to provide their statements as soon as possible. In the event that a witness needs to leave the scene before the police can take a statement, take down that person’s contact information.
Police and medical personnel will ask if you or anyone in your vehicle have been hurt, if you are unsure, be sure to say so, rather than saying “no.” You may very well experience pain and other symptoms from injuries sustained in the car accident after the fact as the adrenaline wears off.
Gather Your Own Record
If possible, take photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas for your own record. As cell phone cameras improve leaps and bounds, our ability to properly document accident scenes with pictures has improved dramatically. Write down any facts or information about the scene or take a video as a quick and easy way to capture your thoughts and the facts of what happened in the moment. Be sure to collect the insurance information of the other cars affected in the accident as well.
Talk to Witnesses
If any witnesses are standing by, the police will likely gather their accounts of what they saw happen, but if possible you can talk to the witnesses yourself. If they are willing, gather their contact information.
Report the Accident
At some point in the hours and days after the collision, you should report the accident to your insurance company. There will be a standard formal process you will follow to do this and start your initial claim. You should also contact the other driver’s insurance company to make claims for property damage and injury.
You should consult an attorney after a car accident. The sooner you do so the more guidance you will receive throughout the process of filing your claim and any necessary steps following that. An attorney can help you understand what to expect in the claims process, can guide you in the collection or pertinent evidence, and can help you understand the coordination of benefits available to you, among things. You should never speak with an insurance company about the collision or your injuries before consulting with an attorney. You should not provide a recorded statement to any insurance company.
The Richards Injury Firm is one of the top vehicle accident attorneys in the Hamilton, Ohio area. We are highly experienced with helping those who have been injured in car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.
After being in an accident, call The Richards Firm. We will concentrate on navigating the legal complexities of your bodily injury claim, while you focus on healing or caring for your loved one’s affected.