The moments after you’ve been involved in a car accident can be one confusing blue of sensations and activity. In this kind of surroundings, it can be hard to bring your thoughts together to allow you to develop a plan of action. Your thoughts will race, you will wonder if everyone is all right, you will wonder how badly your car is damaged, you will ask yourself if it was your fault, and you will wonder what to do next.
Read on to discover the five most important things to keep in mind directly following a car crash. As always, if you or a family member is hurt in a car accident, call help from an experienced car accident lawyer.
1. Remain Calm
In order to successfully make your way through the chaos of an auto accident, you will have to remain calm and keep a level head. Don’t ever flee the scene, no matter whose fault it is! Instead, take some deep and calming breaths, assess yourself and other passengers in the car for injuries, and call 911 if anyone is hurt. Do not try to provide first aid on your own since you might end up doing more harm than good, unless the person needs immediate first aid and you’re the only one available to provide it. Stay calm and wait for first responders to arrive.
2. Inspect the Scene of the Crash
If you can get out of your vehicle safely, do so, and look around at the scene. Use your cell phone to take as many photos as possible of the full scene, the vehicles involved, and road conditions. This includes road signs and anything else that might be useful later on. The information you gather could be of utmost importance to your car accident lawyer.
Call the police to report the accident. It might be the case that you will have to go to a reporting centre to report the collision. In this case it is even more important that you take photos before you go.
3. Exchange Information
If your accident involved two or more vehicles, you will need to exchange information with the other drivers and anyone else involved in the collision. Collect their names, addresses, email and phone numbers, license numbers, insurance company information, license plate numbers, and make and model of their cars.
If there are other passengers involved, gather their basic info, too. If there are witnesses there, collect their names and contact info so you can reach them later.
4. Do Not Admit Guilt
As you exchange your information with the other driver(s), do not discuss any responsibility for the accident. Admit nothing and do not apologize, especially if the other driver is acting in an accusatory way towards you, or is belligerent. Whatever they say or how you feel, do not say “I’m sorry” or “It’s my fault,” or sign anything other than the police report, if required. Any admissions of guilt can be used against you.
In addition, never offer to pay for damages, and do not accept this from other drivers. If you’re not at fault, avoiding going through your insurance company doesn’t make sense.
5. Contact Your Insurance Provider and a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you’ve talked to the other driver(s), you will need to call your insurance company. Give them all the necessary facts while you still remember.
If you feel you will need a car accident lawyer, give them a call right away. Personal injury lawsuits can take quite a while to go through the steps and the sooner you call your lawyer, the sooner you can receive compensation for your injuries.