Car accidents are extremely upsetting for everyone involved, and it’s easy for those involved to feel flustered, anxious and disoriented. If you can, however, it’s essential that you take certain actions immediately after a car accident. Even if the situation wasn’t your fault, even if you have great insurance, and even if you’re going to be late for an important appointment, you’ll want to make sure to handle any car accident situation with care and attentiveness. In particular, make sure that you take the following actions immediately after being involved in a car accident.
The First Thing You Should Do After an Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, the most important concern that you should have right away is your safety. For this reason, if you get in a car accident, the first thing that you should do is assess your physical state. Naturally, your mental state will be flustered and anxious. This is absolutely normal. But if you can, focus on assessing all parts of your body. Start with your head and neck. Do you feel any pain when you make even the slightest movement with your neck?
Make sure that you move your body slowly to assess any injuries. You should start with your head and neck because injuries in these areas are the most severe. As you make small movements, if you realize that you can move your head, neck and back, move on to other parts of your body. Visually inspect your legs and arms. Check for blood and the feeling of warmth or pain. Look in your rearview mirror or any other mirror that you have to check for cuts, scrapes, bruises and any blood on your face or other parts of your body.
If you feel that you are physically safe, you should move on to inspecting other people in your car. If you have passengers in your car, call out their names and ask how they are. Look them over for possible injuries. Take the same measures that you took when looking over your own body. Check for bone breaks, ask them how their head and neck feel, look for blood and cuts or bruises and check their extremities.
If You Notice an Injury
If you see an injury in yourself or someone else in your car, contact emergency services as soon as possible. Call 911 yourself if you can and give them your exact location, but if you can’t do this yourself, ask someone else in the car to do it for you, or ask a bystander to call 911 for you. While you wait for emergency services to arrive, don’t move from your vehicle unless you have to for safety reasons. If someone in your car has a head or neck injury, do not move them unless you, again, have to for safety reasons. Ultimately, you should try not to move anyone who has a serious injury as you could compromise their safety.
If your car is in an immediately dangerous situation and you feel that you can move it, try to turn on your ignition. At this point, you can move your vehicle to the side of the road or another safe place. Only do this if you absolutely must because you’ll want to take pictures of the accident scene the way that it occurred if you can. If everyone in your car is safe, check the drivers and passengers of the other cars involved in the accident using the same precautions.
Other Important Steps to Take
If you have checked over the safety of everyone and no one is seriously injured, you can move on to the next necessary steps. Call your insurance company to let them know what happened. Exchange information with the other driver, gets accounts of the accident from bystanders and witnesses, take pictures of the scene, and get a copy of the police report from the officers who arrive to help.
Car accidents can be emotionally stressful, but they can also cause you to pay thousands of dollars in medical and car bills and possibly lose time at work. If you have serious injuries from a car accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney for helpful information on maximizing your recovery time.