Oct 24, 2020 11:11 AM EDT
Accidents Happen: What to Do If You've Been Hurt
Accidents happen; whether it's a minor fender bender or a severe crash, you must know what to do if one occurs. Road and traffic-related incidents and mishaps take place daily and can have far-reaching consequences.
This article details a few helpful reminders on how to proceed when you're hurt to minimize the repercussions.
At the Scene
It's easier said than done but as soon as the initial shock is over, try to remain as calm as possible. Stop your vehicle, turn off the engine, switch hazard lights on, and stay at the scene.
If you're seriously injured and conscious, don't move until help arrives. If it's minor, only get out of the car once it's safe to do so. Be mindful and aware of other traffic in the area.
Check on your passengers or others involved to get an assessment of the assistance you'll require. Call 911 for help, depending on the need for an ambulance or other authorities. Don't administer first-aid to anyone hurt unless you're officially qualified to do so.
Remember that in some states, it's a legal requirement to inform the police too. They'll fill out the accident report, which you'll need to claim from insurance. If no officers are immediately available to be dispatched to the scene, go to the nearest station later to complete one yourself.
Document the Details
Document as much information as possible. While on the scene, take pictures of all the vehicles involved before they're moved.
The experts at Diamond & Diamond recommend that you write down or photograph road names, weather conditions, and any other significant details like the direction you were traveling in. Make notes about the type of intersection, traffic lights status, and any obstructions present.
Sketch it if you can to remember and visualize the detail. You'll need to add this to the report, specifically for filing an insurance or compensation claim.
Ask for the full names, contact numbers, license, and registration info of all other parties involved. Don't forget the passengers, and note if they were wearing seatbelts. Also, request the badge numbers and identification of the police officers on the scene.
Jot down all the vehicle particulars. Make sure to get the license plates, the model, and make and color of the other car involved. Do the same for a motorbike and a bicycle too.
Get the details of any eye-witnesses and talk to them about what they saw. It may help confirm the facts to make sense of the sequence of events. It's not about laying blame or discussing who's at fault.
Post Event Recovery
Even after the event, once you've left the scene, it's essential to keep track of post-event experiences. Consider keeping a tally of all your medical expenses, and follow through with treatments for complete healing, to minimize side-effects and post-event trauma.
Keep going to all your medical appointments with doctors or others who support you emotionally on the road to recovery. If you've missed work as a result of long term rehabilitation, list the days and consider your loss of income if you're seeking compensation.
If you're going to take legal action due to the negligence of another driver, seek guidance from a reputable attorney. It's not always a quick and easy process to take on, but you'll be in the best position to succeed if you consult an experienced professional in this field.
Accidents happen daily, and you can minimize your stress and the post-event consequences by what you do immediately at the scene. Stay put and inform the relevant authorities, even if it's only a minor incident.
Record as much detail as possible and remember to speak to eye-witnesses to verify the facts. Once you've recovered from the initial shock, continue to keep track of expenses and your post-event experiences. It'll help you get the right and fair compensation or settle your insurance claim in good time.
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