Even the most careful drivers experience car accidents. According to the WHO, every year, between 20 and 50 million people sustain injuries due to road traffic crashes. These injuries often result in disabilities.
1.35 million people will not walk away alive after an auto accident.
While we can’t do anything about accidents happening, we can do something about what happens after. After an accident, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. Because of the flare-up of emotions, fear, anxiety, and even rage, it’s going to be a struggle to keep it together.
Still, that’s what you have to do to protect yourself from bodily harm and legal troubles.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, follow these steps to ensure your well-being, both medically and financially.
1. After an Accident, Immediately Check for Injuries
The preservation of all life should always come first.
Check yourself for injuries first. If you’re seriously injured or think that you are, try not to move, ask someone else to call 911 and wait for emergency personnel.
If you’re able to move without hurting too much, check if anyone else is injured. Do not attempt to move someone with serious injuries unless there’s immediate danger.
Get everyone else who’s not severely injured to a safer location. If the vehicles are still operational, get them off the road if possible.
2. Call the Police And/Or an Ambulance
If there’s anyone who needs medical attention, call 911 right away to get treatment right away.
Even if no one has any obvious injuries, you should still call the police. The police should be there to document the incident and create an official report. They will also collect information from all parties involved and interview witnesses to the accident.
Never ever admit fault for the accident. When asked, only answer with what you can remember.
3. Collect All Relevant Information
You may think this is redundant with the police being there and all but it’s vital to collect information yourself after an accident. Oftentimes, a copy of the police report will only be available after a few weeks. If you have to wait for it before talking to a lawyer or starting your claim, it may be too late.
Here are the important details that you should gather after a car accident:
- names, addresses, and contact information for all parties involved
- drivers’ license numbers
- license plate numbers, color, make, and model of all vehicles involved
- insurance provider and policy number
- name and contact information of all eyewitnesses to the accidents
- photos of the scene of the accident
Provide your insurance company and/or your lawyer with this information as soon as you can.
4. See a Doctor
If there’s any possibility of injury, seek medical attention immediately. Even a fender bender can lead to serious injuries that may require hospitalization and even surgery.
A licensed physician should also document any injuries that you suffered because of the accident. This information will be crucial if you end up having to file a car accident claim.
Recover From Any Car Accident
After an accident, keeping a cool head and following these steps can help you get through this stressful situation.
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