In 2021, 42,915 people died in US motor vehicle traffic crashes, while thousands more sustained serious injuries.
With traffic deaths reaching this 16-year high, it’s clear that America’s roads aren’t getting safer anytime soon. And that it’s even more important than ever to know exactly what to do if you’re involved in a car crash.
But what steps should you take following a car accident? Keep reading to find out!
Check for Injuries
Even if it seemed like nothing more than a minor fender-bender, you should never leave the scene of an accident without checking that everyone is okay. Safety should always be your first priority, so as soon as it’s safe and possible to do so, you should pull over and examine yourself for injuries.
If you feel extreme pain or see blood or bone, dial 911 right away to get emergency medical assistance.
Contact the Police
Regardless of whether anyone has any obvious injuries or not, you’ll need to call the police to the scene so they can file a police report. This is a vital document verifying that a crash occurred, where it took place, who was involved and may also include an assessment of the damages.
As difficult as it is to think straight right after a car accident, this is when you need to stay focused on finding support for your version of events. And this is easier to do when everything is still fresh.
Take photos and videos of the vehicles and street with your smartphone and record a summary of the accident on a voice memo app. Remember to include details about the weather, visibility, road closures, and anything else that could be relevant. And, if there are any witnesses, make sure to get their contact information.
Consult a Car Crash Attorney
Once you’re away from the accident scene, your next step should be to see this car accident lawyer. Hiring a car crash lawyer to take care of your case means that you can focus on overcoming the crash while they handle the paperwork, calls, and insurance negotiations.
See a Doctor
If you haven’t already seen a doctor, your car accident lawyer will likely tell you to do it straight away. Many different kinds of car crash injuries, such as whiplash and slipped discs, don’t present until days, weeks, or months after the accident. It can even take years for some mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression to become apparent following a serious crash.
Even if you feel fine, explaining what happened during the crash can help your doctor look for specific injuries and warn you about symptoms to look out for in the coming weeks.
What to Do Following a Car Accident
The first week following a car crash is often a tense, stressful, and traumatic time, especially if you sustained an injury.
But, by following these steps, you’re far more likely to get the compensation you deserve and ensure a faster recovery too.
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