Car accidents can be extremely damaging, painful, and disorienting. If you were involved in a crash, make sure you know what to do next. There are plenty of things you need to do after an accident in order to protect your interests and make filing a claim through your insurance company easier later on. However, there are also several things you should not do. In order to prepare yourself for a car crash, make sure you know what to do after you’ve been involved in a wreck.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Immediately after an automobile accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention if you need it. Sometimes adrenaline can mask injuries, even serious ones, so take a close survey of yourself and determine whether or not you have any serious cuts, breaks, brains, whiplash injuries, or a concussion. If you are unable to help yourself, ask someone else to help you and to call an ambulance.
2. Check On Everyone Else
Once you’ve taken care of your own injuries, make sure everyone else around you is okay. First, see to the passengers in your vehicle. Apply pressure to wounds and utilize any medical skills you have and call 911. Next, see to the other people involved in the crash. You might be angry with the other driver, but put those feelings aside as much as you can to ask after their health. Ask if they require an ambulance, and if they do, call 911 immediately. If anyone involved in the crash needs medical attention, call out to bystanders to see if anyone with medical skills can help you.
3. Gather Evidence
After all of the injured parties have been taken care of or taken to the hospital, make sure you gather evidence of the crash. These days, the easiest way to do this is to take pictures on your phone. Take photos of the crash, the surrounding street, potential road hazards that caused the crash, or poor weather conditions that might have contributed to the accident. Make sure you pay special attention to the damage on your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. If you were injured, take photos of your injuries, and of other injured individuals let you, take photos of their injuries as well. You might also jot down a few notes about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
If there are witnesses to the crash standing by, take down their information and a quick testimony of what they say they witnessed. This could help you later on.
4. Exchange Information
It is crucial that you exchange information with the other parties involved. That includes other drivers, any injured pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or anyone else involved. You will need their full name, phone number, email, address, insurance provider, and driver’s license number. If they were driving during your accident, take down their vehicle information, including the make, model, year, and license number.
5. Go To the Doctor
Make sure you see a doctor as soon as you can, especially if you didn’t already receive medical attention from the ambulance or in the hospital. Even if you were taken to the hospital, you might still want to see your normal doctor for additional medical attention or for another opinion regarding your injuries. In any case, it is always important to seek medical attention after an accident. Some injuries may not exhibit symptoms for hours or even days, especially if you are still feeling the adrenaline from the accident. Whiplash injuries, for instance, can take days to begin showing symptoms, but they can still be very serious and painful injuries.
If you wait too long to see a doctor after an accident, it can be difficult to prove that the injuries you sustained were from the crash itself. Plus, it is always better to be safe than sorry, even if you turn out to be perfectly healthy and uninjured.
6. Contact Your Lawyer & Insurance Company
Once everything else has been taken care of, you need to contact your insurance company to let them know about the crash. You will also want to find a car accident attorney you can trust. Personal injury lawyers know how to help injured individuals after a crash and can help you as you file insurance claims and negotiate compensation. If your insurance does not cover the full expense of the damage from your crash and subsequent medical bills, you might even need to take your case to court. In this case, you will definitely need a lawyer you can trust.
Contact DeFeo & Kolker, LLC to discuss your car accident case with our Missouri personal injury attorneys.