A car accident can happen in seconds -- and they're absolutely terrifying to most people. Once the initial shock is over, confusion usually sets in simply because most people aren't in car accidents often enough to know exactly what they should do in the aftermath.
If you're unsure how to handle yourself after a car wreck, here's a brief rundown of what to remember:
- See if anyone is hurt. If so, call 911 and ask for an ambulance immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone who is injured because you could further aggravate a hidden spinal injury and cause more harm.
- Stay on the scene. You may have to move your vehicle (if possible) out of the road in order to be safe, but you generally want to remain as close as possible to the spot the accident occurred. Just get off the road and onto ground that's apart from the road whenever you can.
- Turn on your hazard lights. This isn't just important at night or in bad weather. Hazard lights alert other drivers that you're there and not moving while they still have time to stop.
- Let the police guide you. You may not be involved in a car accident every day, but the officer sees plenty of them. Most of the time, police officers will walk everyone involved through the process of exchanging information, finding out who the police say is at fault and so on.
- Snap photos of the scene. These may come in handy down the line if there are questions about who was at fault for the accident.
- Practice staying silent. The best thing you can say to the other driver in this situation is nothing at all. A stray comment like, "I didn't even see you!" can become the basis for a lawsuit you have to defend.
- Get medical help. Think you aren't injured? Get medical help anyhow. Let a doctor decide if there's anything to worry about. Some injuries don't show until well after your adrenaline has died down.
At Martson Law Offices we have been hired to handle car and truck crashes very shortly after they occur. Since we have represented both Plaintiffs and Defendants, we know that certain evidence can be lost as time passes. Therefore, we know what steps to take to preserve as much evidence as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will discuss your rights and our experience free of charge.