As a Rochester area motorist, you are probably well aware of how often car crashes happen. Though you have not been in one, you should have a thorough understanding of steps you can take after one. Many car crash victims feel disoriented and shaken up after motor vehicle collisions. It is important for you to remain calm so you can make the right decisions to prevent further injury and damage.
Motor vehicle crashes often cause some degree of injury and property damage. Regardless of how minor or major any crash you may be in, keep the following information in mind to improve the outcome.
Keep an emergency kit
You should always be ready for a car crash. Prepare a secure emergency kit that contains batteries, blankets, water, flares, reflectors, a first aid kit, notepad, pen, flashlight, camera, and spare cellphone. Always keep the kit in the backseat or trunk of your car so you can grab it easily when necessary.
Assess the situation
Immediately after impact, you should assess yourself, passengers, and surroundings. Turn on your car’s hazard lights. If you feel well enough to move, and it is safe enough for you to do so, get out of your vehicle and place flares around your vehicle to alert other drivers to avoid the scene.
Call the authorities
Use your cellphone to contact the police. Inform them of your location and situation. Be sure to let them know if you or your passengers are injured or if anyone is unconscious. The information you provide to the emergency operator will impact whether or not an ambulance is dispatched to the scene, which in turn can save lives when every second counts. Give a statement regarding the collision to the police. Do not say anything that puts you at fault.
Look Around for Witnesses
Officers responding to the scene of a serious crash will want to investigate whether there is enough information to assess fault on one or more of the drivers. Third-party witnesses can be crucial in helping the officer get unbiased information he or she needs. The best time for a witness to provide information to the officer is immediately following the crash, before memory fades or gets confused. Sometimes witnesses may give you their phone number to give to the officer and leave the scene, but it is best if they are able to stay until the officer arrives. Therefore, if the circumstances allow, ask witnesses to stay at the scene until they are able to share information with the responding officer. If you or someone else was injured due to another driver’s negligence, this information can prove critical in a personal injury case.
Get the necessary information
While you wait for the police, fire department and EMTs, take pictures of each driver’s license, registration, and insurance cards and their phone numbers to keep as proof for your claim. Be sure to get photos of the back and front of those documents. Also make sure to take some photos of the damage to the vehicles and the surrounding area. Modern smartphones allow practically limitless ability to take photos, so feel free to take plenty of photos.
Get medical treatment
Get medical attention on the scene and from the emergency room. You might not feel the effects of possible injuries right away. Even some serious injuries may take days before symptoms fully develop. Also, there may be physical and emotional trauma you are unaware of. Professional medical treatment is necessary to establish a record of any injuries onset because of the crash, and to protect you from further trauma that may claim your life. If you feel odd or experience more pain, bruising, confusion, irritability, effects on vision, or personality changes; you should go back to the emergency room to rule out hidden injuries and traumatic brain injury, and schedule a follow-up visit with your primary care provider.
Car crashes are not always easy to recover from. Depending on the extent of your injuries and property damage, you may qualify for compensation from the responsible party. If you have been injured and need legal guidance from an attorney who will protect your interests, contact Klampe Law Firm LLC to discuss your case free of charge.