You jump into your car every day, never expecting to get into an auto accident.
But every year, about 2.35 million Americans experience injuries due to car accidents. Another 37,000 die in car accidents.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can ensure the best possible outcome of the accident.
Your actions can minimize the impact of injuries. You can also gather the information necessary to prove that someone else was to blame.
Keep reading to find out what you should do immediately following an accident.
Check for Injuries
Before you worry about preserving the accident scene or determining fault, make sure everyone in your car is safe. If anyone has a serious injury, try to remain still and wait for help to arrive. Moving can cause the injury to be worse.
Get Yourself to a Safe Place
If everyone is uninjured or the injuries are minor, get everyone to a safer location. Sitting in a vehicle that’s stalled in the middle of the road puts you at risk for getting hit again. You also don’t want to stay right outside the vehicle for the same reason.
If there’s a sidewalk nearby, move there to stay away from traffic. If not, move as far off the road as possible.
Call for Help
If anyone has a serious injury, call 911 immediately. If there aren’t any injuries, you can call the non-emergency number for your area.
You’re often required to report accidents if there are any injuries or if there is property damage above a certain dollar amount. Having the police come to the scene of the accident is a good way to document the accident and prove fault.
Document the Accident
Unless you’re injured, don’t forget to document the scene. Photos from different angles can be very beneficial for proving that someone else was to blame. You can also take down witness information in case you need statements from them later.
Hold onto this and the accident report from the police to submit to the insurance company if necessary.
You’ll also need to exchange contact and insurance information with everyone else involved. This ensures you can contact the insurance company to file a claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think you have a minor injury, following up with your doctor is a good idea. You might not realize you have an injury right away because some symptoms take time to appear.
Whiplash is a common car accident injury that might show up after a few days instead of right away.
More serious injuries might require immediate medical care, sometimes requiring transfer to the hospital in an ambulance. Head injuries and spinal injuries are two examples of serious car accident injuries.
It’s also important to continue seeing your doctor and following all treatment recommendations, no matter how minor or severe your injury.
Living with a life changing spinal injury can change everything, but following your treatment plan might minimize the effects.
Prepare for Auto Accident Follow-Up
Knowing how to handle an auto accident can help you calmly navigate the aftermath. Minimize potential injuries and damage first before preserving evidence to prove fault.
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