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Few things will shock you out of reality and leave you feeling lost and wondering what to do like a car accident. The noise, the impact, the loss of the vision and just trying to figure out what just happened is one of the most confusing situations a person can find themselves in.
Nevertheless, making sure you do the right things after a car accident is crucially important. At a minimum, there will be a need for repairs of property and cars. At worst, people could be hurt or killed and there may absolutely be an urgent medical need.
There are plenty of things you should do after you’ve been involved in an auto accident, but it’s best to try to do them in at least a general order so as not to make things worse.
Before you even try to move, whether you are still in your car or not, don’t try to move until you’ve taken a quick inventory of your body and know that you are ok to move. Do your arms and legs feel ok? Can you feel your hands and feet? Do you feel dizzy or have blurred vision? If anyone doesn’t feel right, stay where you are and call for someone to help you.
If you can move about without hurting yourself any further, check other occupants of your vehicle as well as those of other vehicles to see if they are in need of emergency help. Don’t worry about who’s done what or if phone calls have already been made. If you see someone that looks like they’ve sustained serious injuries, call an ambulance yourself to make sure there is no delay before help arrives.
Especially if you’ve had a car crash in the middle of a roadway, try to move the vehicles to a safer place so that both those of you involved in the accident, as well as other drivers on the road, are out of harm’s way.
If it’s not possible to move the vehicles but you have cones, reflective triangles, or something similar, try to set them out going back 100 feet or more from the scene of the accident so that other drivers know there is a hazard ahead. If they are still working, you should also turn on the hazard lights on all vehicles, as well. You should also wear a reflective vest yourself if you have one, and stand off the side of the roadway if possible.
If you haven’t already called the police, or the police aren’t automatically notified when you call an ambulance, you should call them as well. Their investigation of incidents and police accident reports about drivers, cars, and the accident scene will be extremely necessary later. They’ll also be able to help with things like diverting traffic, assuring that emergency services can reach the scene, and checking for things like the presence of drugs or alcohol. If fault must later be decided, police reports will be a very important, unbiased, part of that process.
You should get all of the contact information you can get from any other driver involved in the accident. at the very least, you’re going to need to make an insurance claim to get any damage to your vehicle repaired, but you never know what else might pop up. You should take down information such as:
Insurance information like policy number
License plate number
Driver’s license number
Cell phone number
In addition to gathering information about others involved in the accident, you should try to gather at least some basic information about law enforcement at the scene as well. You may want to ask the police officers exactly which police station they are from, their badge numbers, and if you can have a copy of the police report or at least the police report number for your records.
In addition to using your cell phone to document the accident by taking pictures such as damage to cars or the state of the roadway, use it to record the information of other motorists as well. That way nothing gets lost through interpretation or nervous fingers writing anything down. Take pictures of driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, auto insurance cards, etc. Everything you need will be there and you won’t have to remember where one piece or another is or was.
You should also use your phone to document the scene of an accident. Take pictures of both vehicles from just about any angle you can reach and any property in the area that looks like it may have been damaged in the accident. One or both of you may end up having to prove that you weren’t the cause of a dent in a parked car or a destroyed mailbox
Regardless of whether you feel you’ve been in a minor accident, or fender-bender, or a major accident where someone was seriously hurt or possibly killed, you should speak with an auto accident lawyer. When you’re involved in an accident claim, there’s no telling what it might into.
The claims process quickly becomes a web of discussions about car insurance, policy coverage, personal injury, responsibility, liability, negligence, and more. If you’ve just been in a car accident, the last thing you need is to be dealing will all of this red tape while you’re trying to heal.
That what DuBoff & Associates is here for. Our team of personal injury and car accident attorneys will do everything we can to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full and fair compensation you are entitled to for the injuries and suffering you’ve gone through. You can contact us online anytime or call us at 866-640-6665 for a free and confidential consultation.