A car accident can be traumatic for most people. An engine malfunction or collision from another vehicle can lead to bone fractures, disfigurement, internal bleeding, and a general sense of disarray. Although it may be difficult to collect your thoughts, it’s important to follow proper procedures to ensure your safety and uphold your legal rights.
Knowing the standard operating procedure of dealing with a car accident’s aftermath
There’s no formal guide that tells you what to do when dealing with a car accident. However, you can follow some general steps to keep the chaos and damage to a minimum. This applies to your general well-being and the safety of everyone else using the road.
After experiencing a car accident, try to stay calm and follow these five steps:
Step#1: Ground yourself
Collecting yourself after an accident will be difficult if you’re unaware of your body’s current condition. Check for any bleeding, wounds, or injuries before moving from your place. If you have any passengers on board, check for their condition and assess if you’ll need to stay or leave your vehicle. It’s best to exit your vehicle if possible, but be careful about any sharp protrusions that can injure you. If you’re unable to exit your vehicle, call for medical assistance immediately or ask for help from nearby civilians or authorities.
Step#2: Move your car away from traffic
If your car suffered minor damage after the crash, check if you can still drive it. If so, ensure that it’s out of the way from incoming vehicles. After leaving your car, it’s best to stay at the scene and warn others to keep away from your vehicle to prevent traffic congestion.
Step#3: Communicate with relevant parties
During car collision crashes with other vehicles or severe accidents, you need to communicate with the other driver to exchange information. It’s best to stay civil while you’re still clarifying what exactly happened. If there are witnesses to the accident, try to gather their contact information. Once authorities, like police, traffic enforcers, and medical personnel arrive, allow them to ask the questions and respond as honestly as you can.
Step#4: Document the incident
Using your phone or another device, take different photos of the scene. It’s best to take close-up shots of the damage to your vehicle or nearby property and take some from afar if possible. Besides assessing your car’s damage, take pictures of plate numbers, insurance cards, or valid IDs of relevant parties involved in the accident.
Step#5: Seek medical treatment
Car accident survivors feel a rush of adrenaline after experiencing an accident. This can numb your physical pain while processing the information of a crash’s aftermath. Although you’re not feeling major symptoms, it’s best to seek medical treatment since you may feel these ailments in a few hours or over a few days. Visible bruises need immediate attention, but you should also get yourself checked for headaches or internal pain, which can hide concussions or internal wounds.
Panic can lead to indecisiveness or impulsive behavior, two things you shouldn’t do during or after a car accident. After dealing with the collision’s aftermath, you need to think about your condition’s long-term implications. Will you have to answer for the accident? Are there insurance claims you should oversee? Is a third party liable to give you compensation? These questions will be much easier to answer with a legal expert on your side.
Having an attorney specializing in personal injuries or vehicular accidents can help you through these legal procedures. If you’ve been through a motor vehicle accident, our legal experts at Kang Law Group are happy to assist you in evaluating your potential claim. Get a free case evaluation from our Oregon-based law firm by contacting us at (503) 646-3131.