Car accidents happen. Regardless of how careful drivers try to be, they cannot control everything that happens when they are on the roads. If a person is involved in an accident, they need to remain on the scene. What else should be done in this situation?
Check for Injuries
All parties in the accident need to check for injuries. Many times, injuries won’t be apparent or the people won’t know they are injured. This is due to the adrenaline that flows through the body in stressful situations. Immediately call emergency services and let them know about the accident and any injuries that are seen. Consider recording a 911 call as this call may be used later to prove who was at fault and provide information about the circumstances of the accident.
Collect Driver Information
Every person involved in the accident should get the names and phone numbers of the other parties. In addition, record their license plates and ask for their driver’s license information. Some people refuse to provide anything more than their name and number, and certain people refuse to share even this information. Ensure the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved are obtained at the bare minimum. If someone leaves the scene, the police can track them down with this information.
Gather Witness Information
Collect the names and phone numbers of everyone who saw the accident. They may be able to provide valuable information when it comes time to determine who was at fault. Often, people leave the scene before emergency personnel arrive, so try to collect this information as soon as possible.
Take Pictures of the Scene
If possible, take pictures of the scene and possibly a video. Include as much information as possible in the pictures and videos. This includes the condition of the vehicles, the surrounding roadway, weather conditions, and more. When taking the pictures, capture the street signs, any debris from the vehicles sitting in the roadway, and damage to property beyond the vehicles.
Seek Medical Attention
As previously mentioned, many injuries don’t become apparent until the hours or days after the accident. Seek medical attention as soon as possible following the accident. The doctors may see something the injured parties cannot and will take action to minimize the extent of these injuries to protect the person’s health and prevent further problems from arising.
Call the Insurance Companies
Each driver needs to call their insurance company and let them know about the accident. In addition, they may need to speak to the other party’s insurance company. When doing so, share minimal information. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. To do so, they pay out as little as possible. Anything a person says when speaking to these companies can be used against them, so keep it to the facts.
An accident can leave a person stressed, confused, and in pain. It’s hard to remember what should be done during this difficult time. It never hurts to have a checklist in the vehicle, so no steps are overlooked immediately after an accident. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help at this time. Ask friends and family for assistance while recovering from injuries and allow insurance companies to handle the details of who is at fault and how the vehicles will be repaired.
If the injuries are severe, consider working with a personal injury lawyer. These attorneys work with clients to ensure they get fair compensation. By turning this portion of the case over to an attorney, the victims can focus on their recovery, which needs to be the priority.