People don't plan to be in an accident. However, knowing what to do after an accident happens can help you be ready when the time comes. Chances are that an accident will happen to you or a loved one at some point. Read on to find out what you need to do after a vehicle accident.
- Don't try to move after a vehicle accident if you are in pain or trapped. Yell for help so that any bystanders can come to your aid.
- Phone 911 if you are alone and no one else has done so. Describe the location the best you can by using signs, your navigation unit, or your phone. The 911 operator will summon fire, emergency personnel, and law enforcement.
- You will have several people asking if you are okay. You should not go into detail about your injuries to anyone but law enforcement and medical personnel. Talk to the medical personnel so that they can judge the severity and locations of your injuries.
- Law enforcement may ask you about the accident if you are well enough to speak. If you don't know what happened or are unsure, don't speculate about the cause. The officer gathering information at the scene will be interviewing anyone who saw the accident and obtaining their contact information. In most cases, witnesses can do a better job of knowing what happened than those who were involved. Everything law enforcement finds out about the accident will go into a report. You can obtain the accident report at the town or county police station in a few days. They may provide you with an accident case number at the scene for reference, however.
- If you can walk around, take photos of your vehicle and the scene in general. Speak to any bystanders to find out what happened. This is in case the officer was not able to interview everyone at the scene that needed to be interviewed. At least get their contact information.
- If you are injured or if you are not sure about it, go to the hospital. It's better to get checked out to be on the safe side. If you later begin feeling pain, dizziness, or any unusual symptoms, go to the emergency room or call your doctor. Common vehicle accident injuries like whiplash and brain injuries can begin to make their appearance hours after an impact.
- Phone your own insurance agent after you are settled down a bit. You can tell them the basics of what you know about the accident, your injuries, and the condition of your vehicle.
- Phone a personal injury lawyer and have your case evaluated. You can find out what your options are and gain some advice that could help you preserve your chances of compensation.
For additional help or information, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.