Even though no one deserves or craves a car accident, crashes still happen. In the US alone, 2.3 million road users sustain injuries owing to car collisions. As you cannot anticipate an accident, it is best to be always armed with knowledge on what to do if you end up being a road accident victim.
While compensation will ease the burden caused by the crash, your health should be a priority. Way before you think of finding a competent car accident lawyer, visit a doctor for a comprehensive checkup. Remember, you might feel fine enough to skip a medical examination. Nevertheless, let a doctor be the judge of how well you are.
If you happen to be in a car accident, among the most important things you can do is staying calm. Panicking can push you into making irrational decisions such as attacking other drivers or driving away. Once you compose yourself, take the following steps:
Before getting out of your car:
• Take a few seconds to take a check yourself up. Take a deep breath and note any injuries, especially on the chest area. You may also massage your body and note any painful or swollen parts.
• Be sure not to call family and friends and use words like “I am fine.” Doing so might reduce your chances of receiving maximum compensation.
If you can get out of your car, check on the driver and passengers of other cars involved. If there is a risk of an explosion, help them out of their vehicles. Regardless of whether anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately.
Record the Scene
Can you still operate your phone after a car accident? If your answer is yes, take pictures of the crash scene. Focus not only on the damaged vehicles but also on weather conditions. Unless you require medical attention immediately, stay at the scene until authorities arrive.
Suppose you talk to an eye witness or the other car driver, record what they say. It would be a good idea to keep the contacts and addresses of everyone you interact with on the scene.
Visit a Doctor
As soon as you can leave the accident scene, visit a doctor for a thorough medical examination. Since injuries can be internal, it would be best if you do not skip this step. If a doctor suggests relatively expensive diagnostic tests such as MRI, go through with them without worrying too much about the cost.
While at it, detail your injuries as well as you can. In-depth descriptions may help you recover quickly and claim significant compensation.
Find a Lawyer
Immediately you are out of danger, get a competent car accident attorney to be your representative. It may be tempting to take matters into your hands and talk to insurance companies, but refrain from such actions.
Experienced lawyers may increase your compensation two or three-fold. If you are at fault, they may advise on the best ways to reduce your liability without being unfair to the victim.
Record Your Experience after the Accident
As you go on with treatment and checkups, journal what you are going through. You can keep a diary highlighting the difficulties you face and what you feel during the recuperation period. If you feel lonely due to a reduced ability to visit friends or work, talk to someone about it.
Remember to keep a record of the medical expenses you incur. Also, take note of the revenues you lose when out of work. If there are people taking care of you when healing, document what they do to help you recover.
Car accidents may take over a year to settle, and you might forget what you went through. Accurate records increase your chance of getting your rightful compensation.