Being involved in an accident can be a shock, to say the least. We hear about collisions and crashes on a regular basis. They’re in the news, friends tell us stories, movies use them as plot devices… but hearing about an accident and being part of one are two completely different things. You can’t be prepared for a road crash. It’s one of those things that brings everything to a halt whether you think you’re ready for it or not. What you can do, is be prepared for the steps you need to take after being involved in an accident.
The following will explore some of the crucial steps you should take both immediately after a crash and in the following weeks. Of course, every accident is going to be a little bit different, so if there are law enforcement officers or emergency responders nearby, it’s always a good idea to listen to them.
Get Somewhere Safe, Administer First Aid, And Call The Authorities
First thing’s first, we don’t want any more damage occurring. This means getting yourself and your passengers (as well as the other parties involved if they need help) somewhere safe. Simply pull the car over if you’re able to do that.
If you’re not, leave it and get out of the way. You’re also going to want to administer basic first aid if that’s needed. Once those two steps have been sorted, call for help. Calling the emergency helpline is probably your best bet as you’ll be able to get ahold of both medical and legal help that way.
Police will want to create an accident report and ensure that any road closures or detours are set up to help protect other drivers. Medical professionals will be able to tend to any injuries.
Seek Out Medical Attention
If you or someone else has been injured, of course, you’re going to call an ambulance. We’re here to tell you that even if you don’t feel like there’s been any damage done, it’s still a really good idea to seek out medical attention.
This is because there are medical situations, like shock, that can prevent you from being able to sense or understand your injuries. Beyond this, having a medical record related to the accident might end up proving useful if you end up having legal or insurance challenges after the incident. It’s crucial that if you’re given instructions from a medical professional, you follow them.
Not adhering to prescriptions regarding medication, stretches, or other self-care can be interpreted by a judge or insurance team as you not being as injured as you claim you are. This can have an impact on any financial outcomes of the accident.
Yes, law enforcement should be doing this, but just in case more pressing matters (like injuries or pedestrians being in danger or road closures needing to be set up) take precedent, try to gather a bit of evidence yourself. You’re going to want the license and insurance policy of the other driver(s), as well as their name(s). It’s a good idea to do your best to keep things level during this conversation. Don’t turn anything into an argument and ensure that you’re also sharing the information with them they require. Perhaps you can take a photo of their license, and they can take a photo of yours.
While you’re at it, take photos of the scene. When taking photos, be sure to get close-ups of the damage, including shots into the car window if you’re able and anything that has been dented or moved (like street signs or garbage bins). You also want to get wide shots of the entire scene.
It might also be in your best interest to speak to any witnesses and gather their contact information. There are a lot of reasons for doing this, but one of the main ones is, not everyone wants to give a statement to the police. They might write something down for you, however.
Seek Out Legal Help
Before you have any conversations with the insurance company, it’s in your best interest to seek out a legal professional. A lawyer will be able to look at the evidence you collected and explain to you the best course of action to take.
When selecting a lawyer, be sure to look for someone who practices in the area where the accident occurred as well as someone who specializes in the type of law you might be dealing with like a car accident attorney. If you decide to hire an attorney after consulting with one, be sure to follow their recommendations precisely in order to keep the legal proceeding moving at a decent pace.
Stay Off Social Media
After being involved in an accident, you’re likely going to be feeling lots of things. There might be physical pain from injuries as well as anger, resentment, and frustration—especially if the other party was driving irresponsibly. Likewise, there can also be guilt and shame if you feel in part responsible for the incident.
These feelings are normal and completely okay, only they shouldn’t be dealt with via posting on social media. Anything you put out into the internet, including likes, follows, comments, shares, and posts can be used against you in a court of law. Even something as simple as putting a whole bunch of flower emojis beneath your friend’s gardening photo can be interpreted as you not feeling as beat up as you claim to be. Unless otherwise instructed by an attorney, stay off social media until the accident has been completely dealt with.
The above steps will help minimize long-term damage after a car accident. Depending on how you’re feeling after the incident, it might also be wise to seek out a mental health professional. Car collisions are the number one cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in America, and PTSD is not something you have to deal with alone. If you’re struggling to get back behind the wheel or in cars in general or are having depressive or anxious thoughts that are interfering with your day-to-day life, seek out help.
CONTACT THE EVISION TEAM TODAY
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Hires can be made directly on our website, or by giving our team a call on: 01634 914063. If you have any additional questions, our experienced team would be happy to help!