About 6 million road accidents take place in the US alone each year. Although the majority of these accidents only result in property damage, a considerable percentage can lead to fatal results. Not to mention the damage incurred to the vehicles that are involved in these accidents. It was estimated that one in every 3 road accidents lead to personal injury, while about 20% of that number leads to fatal injury. Each one of us needs to be careful on the road and know exactly what to do in the occurrence of a car accident. If you don’t know what you should do as soon as you’re involved in a crash, don’t worry, we have you covered. In this article, we explain the main steps you need to take right after getting involved in a car crash. Keep reading.
Stop and Check for Injuries
Once you’re involved in a car accident, you should never drive away or leave the accident scene. Make sure you stop and secure the area until medical help arrives or until the police are present to document the scene. You should also call 911 or let someone else do it if you’re injured and can’t get up. However, if you can move fine, check on the other people involved in the accident and see if anyone else is hurt. If any of the other passengers or drivers are injured, you should call the emergency services immediately or request a bystander to do it for you.
Secure the Scene
To prevent further accidents and protect the lives of others that may be involved in the accident, you need to do your best to reduce potential damage and move your car to the side of the road. If you can’t move your car, you can leave it where it’s parked and get to safety. You’re not supposed to move or leave your place if you’re seriously injured, so if you feel like you have received injuries from the accident, try not to move while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. Another way to prevent further accidents is turning on your flashers or setting up flares. Even if it’s dark out there at the time of the accident, you should at least have a flashlight to signal your location while waiting in your disabled car.
Call the Police or 911
Calling the police is a critical step that needs to be taken, even if it’s a minor accident where no one got hurt. Personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm say calling the police is legally required in most states, therefore you must let the law enforcement officers in your area know about the crash so that they can show up and document the scene. You can also visit the nearest police station and fill out a report by yourself. Keep in mind that the insurance company you file a claim with is going to request a copy of the police report as a part of the claim’s process. You’re also going to need the police report even if no one gets injured or hurt in the accident, and you only need to file a claim for vehicle damages.
Document the Scene
A very important part of the process taking place after any car accident is the investigation done by the police officers. When the police arrive, make sure to collect as much information as you can from the scene. Ask witnesses for their contact information and take the names and badge numbers of the police officers that show up at the accident scene. Answer the police’s questions honestly and don’t try to speculate or misstate facts as this would only harm your case later on. If you don’t know whether you’re injured or not, tell the officers that you’re not sure about your injuries, as some injuries take days to become apparent.
Seek Medical Assistance
Vehicle and motorcycle accidents usually cause injuries that are not immediately visible, like closed head injuries and concussions. These injuries can lead to behavioral and cognitive problems in the future if left untreated. You may not feel any pain right after the accident or even a day after. Many crash victims have reported experiencing pain and injury symptoms days after their accident. That’s why your first priority after an accident takes place is to get medical help and check for injuries.
Millions of accidents happen as a result of lack of awareness or carelessness during driving. The best way to avoid hazards and stay safe on the road is by obeying the rules and knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. That’s why you need to learn how you can protect yourself and others involved in the accident after an unfortunate road event takes place.