After an accident, it’s normal for the adrenalin to take over, leaving you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. In order to prepare yourself for the unhappy possibility of a car accident, it could benefit you to learn what you should do after a crash before it happens to you. At Langer & Langer, we have handled numerous car accident cases with clients from all over Indiana, and we’ve learned a thing or two about what should be done after a crash.
Below, find some of our key pieces of advice to help make sure you’re prepared and protected in the event of a crash.
1. Get Out of Harm’s Way
While it is important to preserve the scene of the accident, if you are in further danger where you are, move to a safe place. Oncoming traffic may not be able to stop in time, especially on freeways and highways where cars travel at high speeds. If you are in danger, move to the shoulder of the road or somewhere else safe.
2. Check for Injuries
Evaluate yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Next, check on everyone else involved in the accident to see if they need help or medical attention. If anyone has back or neck pain, do not move them until professional medical help has arrived because it could worsen their condition. If anyone is injured, even suffering something as minor as a headache, call 911.
3. Call the Police
With accidents involving significant damage, injuries, or death, the police definitely need to be notified and called to the scene. Once the police arrive, ask for an official police report for your records. A police accident report can make it much easier for you to deal with insurance claims, even if the crash wasn’t very serious. Plus, the objective judgment of an officer could help determine who was at fault for the crash.
4. Exchange Information
Make sure you have all necessary information about the other driver involved in the crash. You should ask for their full name, driver’s license number, license plate number, address, phone number, and insurance company information. Also, survey the area of the crash and get the make and model of the other vehicles involved, as well as the location of the accident. You should also make sure you have the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
5. Survey the Scene
Written information isn’t always enough, so make sure you take photos of the scene of the crash. Be sure to get images of each vehicle and any other damages. If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask them what they saw and write down their names and contact information. Later on, it could prove useful to have an unbiased perspective of the crash.
6. Report the Accident
Contact your insurance company to inform them of the crash as soon as possible. Many policies require that accidents be reported quickly, so don’t risk losing coverage because you waited too long to file a report. Be as honest and informative as possible, and give them a copy of the police report.
7. Seek Medical Attention
Even minor pains could turn out to be quite serious. For example, one of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash, can sometimes take a few days or a couple of weeks to show symptoms. For this reason, you should seek medical attention immediately after your accident, just to be sure. Let your doctor know that you were in a car accident, and they will likely check for common accident-related injuries. Make sure you keep a copy of the doctor’s visit, (and any relevant notes), for your record.
8. Contact Your Attorney
Once the more immediate issues of your accident have been addressed, make sure you have trusted legal support in your corner. Dealing with car insurance companies can be difficult, especially if you don’t receive enough compensation to cover all of your damages. Our car accident attorneys at Langer & Langer will not only help you file your claims, we will also guide you through alternative options, like filing a lawsuit against the guilty party. If you were injured because of another person’s negligence, you may have the right to seek compensation for medical fees, physical damage, and other relevant losses.
Contact Langer & Langer today to begin building your Indiana personal injury case.