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Attorney Jordan Van Matre

Aftermath of a crash: what to do next

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Car Accidents, Trucking Accidents

If you are involved in a car accident or know someone who has, you know how scary it can be. Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, it can be mild or traumatizing, leaving you with scars that are difficult to erase.

Amid chaos, it might be difficult to remember the important things you need to do and know after an accident, so we put together a guide to help you in the event you get into a car crash.

Stay calm. Stay safe.

After an accident, it is natural to feel panic and fear. Take a deep breath and try your best to stay calm. Make sure you and everyone in your car are safe and look around for injuries.

  • Are you injured?
  • Is anyone else in your car injured?
  • Do you see anyone outside your car that could be injured?

Checking for injuries

Health is the most important thing to think about after an accident. Check for injuries, first for yourself, your passengers and then outside your vehicle.

If your vehicle is in a condition that allows you to exit so you can help, do so. Call 911 immediately and seek medical help from anyone who needs it.

Move your car

Once you tend to any injured person, move your vehicle to a safer location so you can talk to the other person and allow other vehicles to pass by. If you’re on a highway and there is no exit in sight, pull over to the side.

Exchange information. Say nothing.

Once you are in a safe location, remember to stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Exchange contact information with the other driver and say nothing to them about the accident.

Do not apologize and do not admit fault. That could hurt you later if the other person is at fault. Sometimes our instinct is to take responsibility right away, even if we are not to blame.

Document the scene

Before the other driver leaves, make sure you document the scene, the road, any marks on the road, any road signs, get photos of the other person’s vehicle and yours, as well as videos, and get as much information as you can.

If other people pulled over and witnessed the accident, ask them to tell you what they saw and write it down or record it with their permission. Get all witnesses’ contact information.

Seek legal help. You may be entitled to compensation.

The last step is to determine whether you are entitled to compensation. To know this, you must contact an attorney who practices in this specific area of law and hand them over all the information you have gathered.

If a doctor examines and treats you for injuries, provide that information to your attorney as well. There could be laws in place that protect you and allow you to receive compensation for injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Your attorney will take it from there and explain filing a claim, settling, or suing. There are pros and cons to all of them, but your attorney will advise you based on what they know about the law, similar cases, and what they think is in your best interest.