Buckle up, kids. Riding in a car is no laughing matter, especially when over 40,000 people lose their lives each year to car accidents.
A motor vehicle accident isn’t just traumatizing for survivors. Depending on who is culpable, it can lead to a lengthy court case and significant legal penalties. All the while, survivors must fix their vehicles and live with debilitating injuries.
However, what you do in the minutes following an accident can drastically change its outcome. Not sure what needs to happen? We’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for the steps to take after a car crash.
1. Get to Safety and Seek Medical Attention if Necessary After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Before anything else, you need to make sure you and all involved parties are okay. Check yourself for injuries and if you’re in good condition, go help others. If you’re injured, in pain, or have difficulty moving, just sit tight and wait for help to arrive.
Call an ambulance if medical assistance is needed. Make sure to stay away from the road if there is traffic nearby. Encourage others to get to safety away from any passing cars.
If you have any medical training, do your best to help. Applying a tourniquet or staunching bleeding could very well save someone’s life.
However, leave things to the professionals. Don’t attempt to save someone if you don’t have the know-how to do so. You could very well make the situation worse.
2. Assess Vehicular Damage
Assuming everyone is accounted for, and there are no serious injuries, take a look at the vehicles. Whether or not you were at fault, get documentation. Take pictures of the vehicles from all angles–including license plates.
Make sure to do this as safely as possible. Don’t step out into moving traffic to take a picture. However, find some way to take the pictures without endangering your life, as this will be valuable evidence for later.
3. Exchange Information and Speak to the Authorities
Speak to the involved party. Get their driver’s license number, plate number, and insurance info. Share what information you can with the police, but don’t admit to responsibility.
Authorities such as the police will only ask basic questions. Answer honestly about how fast you were going and what you believe happened. If you admit to going beyond the speed limit or doing something illegal, you could get in trouble.
If you have a dashcam that vindicates you, share the footage with the police.
4. Call an Attorney
Most importantly, consider getting an attorney. Hiring car accident attorney benefits include the ability to fight any legal case that springs up. You may need to demand compensation, and you won’t receive it without an attorney’s help.
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A motor vehicle accident doesn’t need to be a life-ruining event. Your actions in the moments that follow could be the difference between life and death. Knowing what to say–and what not to say–could affect your case concerning the car crash later on.
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