Car accidents happen very quickly, leaving victims faced with injuries and property damage. It is not always easy to keep a clear mind once they happen, especially when people are hurt. Driving defensively, being prepared, and knowing the proper steps to take afterwards can decrease and lessen the impact.
Having an emergency kit, flashlight, and even a pen and paper can all be useful after a crash. The latter can be useful for writing down information, and copies of emergency contacts and phone numbers for the auto insurance and towing companies should be inside the vehicle at all times.
When the Smoke Clears
After a crash takes place, time is of the essence and safety takes precedence, and the first priority is to call 911. Injured parties should not move, as this can make things worse. All passengers should be checked for injuries and once emergency personnel arrive, they can determine if an ambulance is needed.
It is important not to flee the scene, but if the vehicle is causing a hazard, it should be carefully pulled to the side of the road, if possible. The ignition should be turned off, and hazard lights turned on. Those who can move themselves without further injury should move off to a safe spot. Not all states require a call to the police but it is best to do so, since they can complete an accident report. In situations when police cannot respond to the accident, going to a nearby police station and completing a report is an option.
Documenting the Scene
Those involved in an accident should record as much information as possible, which includes exchanging names, numbers, addresses, emails, registrations, and insurance company information. Cell phone cameras should be used to take pictures of license plates, as well as car models and colors. It also helps to take pictures of skid marks, poor weather conditions, and anything else that could prove how the accident happened. If there were any witnesses, their contact information should also be taken down.
Drivers should take extra care to keep their emotions in check during this time, since getting angry or upset about the accident can cause legal problems. Claiming responsibility for the accident or offering to pay for property damages are not advisable either, as these can also lead to trouble.
Other Important Steps
Drivers should contact their insurance agencies as soon as possible following an accident, and this is a good time to confirm coverage. Again, this is not the time to claim responsibility for the accident; it is best to give short, factual answers. If immediate medical attention was not needed at the scene, it should be sought afterwards at a physician’s office. Some injuries do not show up until days or weeks later, and by that time, they can be hard to treat and link to the accident.
Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Protect Victims’ Rights After a Car Accident
A serious car wreck can leave you with serious injuries and damages, and the trusted Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC are here to help. Complete our online form or call us at 618-277-3644 for a free consultation. Located Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.