If you’re injured in a car accident, there are some critical steps you need to take right away to protect yourself and others involved, and some steps you must make as a follow-up measure.
Here’s what you need to know:
If You’re Injured in a Car Accident, Stop Right Away
If you’re involved in any kind of car accident, however seemingly small, stop right away. If you’re in the middle of the road and able to pull off to the shoulder, that’s as far as you should move. Never drive away from the scene of an accident.
Once you’ve stopped, make sure you’re safe to exit the car and then protect the scene by putting your flashers on and setting up flares if you have them.
If it’s dark out and your lights aren’t working, hopefully, you have a flashlight on hand to shine about to alert others of your presence while you wait for help.
Call the Police
Even if you think that no one has been injured, it’s always a good idea to call the police so they can file a police report. This report will be important to have on file if you need to make a claim with your insurance company, even if the only claim is for damage to your vehicle and not for injuries.
Keep in mind that many injuries don’t show up right away so a police report can help you prove any injury claims later on.
Make a Detailed Record
Once the police have arrived on the scene, give them a detailed, accurate report of what took place. If you don’t know certain facts, make that known to the officer. It’s important that you don’t speculate or give incorrect statements to the officer.
If the officer asks if you’re injured in the car accident, it’s best to say you aren’t sure rather than state that you aren’t only to find out later that you did sustain an injury.
Sometimes it takes hours, days, or even weeks for injuries and pain from an accident to become apparent. Be aware of the statements made by others that were involved in the accident to make sure they are also accurate.
Take Photos and Exchange Information
If officers show up on the scene, they’ll likely gather all the necessary information from everyone involved. But if they don’t respond to the accident, you should get the name, telephone number, and addresses of everyone yourself.
This includes passengers as well as drivers. Gather witness information so they can be contacted in the future by your attorney should it come to that. If an officer does show up, you can request a copy of the police report.
Get Medical Attention
Unless you can be absolutely certain that you haven’t been injured in a car accident, you should seek some type of medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even accidents that were minor in impact can result in spinal cord injury, concussion, or internal injury.
Learn More About What to Do in Case of an Accident
In this article, we’ve discussed what to do in case you are injured in a car accident. Now, be sure to browse the rest of our website to learn about what to do if you’re injured on the job, how to find an accident attorney, or how to find the best auto accident doctor near you.
We’re updating our site with new resources regularly, so be sure to check back often for the resources you need if you’ve been injured.
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