Did you know statistics say that every person who is driving a vehicle will be in at least one automobile collision in their life?
So, chances are you will be involved in a car crash. Time to get prepared in advance. Adrenaline immediately shoots into your system and panic usually ensues. Remembering a few key tips will ensure you have done everything you can to prepare for this situation. Keep a printout of these 8 key things to do in your glove compartment just in case:
- Try to calm down. Remember that the worst that can happen, already has. Breathe deeply for a minute before you unbuckle your seatbelt and gather yourself. When you are ready, grab your cell phone, your registration, and your insurance before leaving the vehicle. If you are hurt, stay in your car and wait for medical personnel to arrive.
- Take pictures of everything before the vehicles are moved. If you have a camera, use it. Cell phone pictures are really great these days and automatically log the time and date. Take several pictures of all vehicles from many angles, and try to take photos that show the street lanes, skid marks, license plates, any unusual conditions such as snow or ice, and any stop signs or traffic signals.
- Determine if the vehicles can/need to be moved. Only move the vehicles if you are obstructing traffic in a major way; if not, leave the cars alone. If traffic needs to move past the vehicles and they still run, drive them to the nearest possible location out of the way. The police may need to see where the vehicles were at the time of impact.
- Call the police. Every accident should be reported to law enforcement, regardless of how significant the vehicle damage is. One of the primary jobs of law enforcement is reporting car crashes, and police have dedicated officers that do only that task.
- Identify the driver of the other vehicle. It should be no surprise that people who are at fault will try to flee an accident scene or blame someone else for driving. Drunk drivers often flee the scene of a crash. If a driver tries to flee a scene, make sure you can identify who comes out of the driver’s door and the license plate number of the vehicle.
- Try to remember the crash and write down what you remember on your phone. Be as specific as you can about what you remember about the crash to the police. How it happened, what you were doing at the time, and if you saw it coming. Insist that the officer give you the other driver’s insurance information once information is exchanged. Most officers will leave everyone with a piece of paper listing the identity of each party, insurance info, and the accident report number.
- Identify any witnesses to the crash. Most passersby will stop for a crash and offer assistance. Although this is a stressful time, try to get a business card or cell phone number with a name of any witness. Once they leave the scene, you may never hear from them again unless you can contact them.
- Get medical attention right after the crash. The majority of time, people do not immediately feel pain and injury after a crash. This can be due to adrenaline or shock masking injuries. However, once that wears off (in a day or two) pain and headaches really set in. It is always a good idea to get checked out by an ER or Now Care doctor to evaluate what happened to your body in the car crash. It can be vital in identifying injuries that may start to appear later.
Following these 8 key steps will ensure you have done everything you can to keep yourself and other people safe and fully informed.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself after the crash, these blog posts can help:
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and would like to discuss your options, the Judnich Law Office can help. You may be eligible for additional compensation, even if you’ve already settled your claim.
Give the Judnich Law Office a call at (406) 203-0913 for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.