Steps to take if you’re injured in a car crash
Getting into a car crash is hardly something anyone can truly be prepared for. These accidents can be devastating, especially if you become injured as a result of the crash. Dealing with an injury after an accident occurs can be particularly stressful; it could lead to extensive medical costs, lost wages due to missing work, property loss, an inability to keep up with household responsibilities and emotional trauma.
Here are the steps that should be taken when you become injured in a car crash:
Step #1: Call the police
The police should be called to the scene the moment anyone involved is seriously injured. The police will be vital in getting you immediate emergency assistance (if an ambulance needs to called), filing a detailed report of the accident, protecting the scene where the accident occurred, making an arrest (if the other driver was under the influence) and writing any necessary citations (if a law was violated that led to the crash).
Important information to gather from the officer at the scene:
- Name and badge number
- A copy of the police report
Step #2: Exchange information and assess the damage
In the event that you are seriously injured from the accident and require immediate medical attention, you may not be able to gather all the information you need. In that case the police will aid you in getting the necessary details.
If you’re injured but it’s not severe (meaning you’re able to get out of the car and assess the situation), here is all the information that needs to be obtained from the other driver(s) involved in the accident:
- Name and contact information
- Drivers license information
- Insurance information
- Make, model and color of the vehicle
- License plate number
Step #3: Gather personal information from witnesses (if present)
If there are any witnesses to the accident you will want to make sure to document their personal information as well. It is likely the police will take statements from any witnesses but you should also obtain the information for your personal records.
Step #4: Take pictures
It is very important that you document everything you possibly can and take as many pictures to capture the scene of the accident as possible. Make sure to take pictures of the following:
- Physical damage to all vehicles involved
- License plate(s) of vehicles involved
- Location of the accident
- Visible injuries
Step #5: Make an insurance claim
You will want to make a claim as soon as possible after the accident happens, the longer you wait the more complicated it becomes. Don’t leave out any details of how the accident occurred and make them aware right away of any injuries you sustained as a result.
Step #6: Seek medical attention
If your injury does not require immediate assistance it is very important that you see a doctor right away. Your doctor will document your injuries, which will be necessary for the insurance claim. If you wait too long to receive medical attention it could hurt your chances for compensation.
Step #7: Obtain legal representation
Insurance companies are not on your side, their goal is to pay out the least amount of money they possibly can. Obtaining legal representation will give you the best chances for receiving fair compensation.