Going through a car accident can be overwhelming. You go from driving your vehicle to hearing the sounds of metal and crunching plastic as the cars collide.
It can be challenging to think clearly about what you need to do as you process your injuries, the damage and what happened.
Here are a few things you should know about dealing with a car accident.
Seek medical care and emergency services
Regardless of the severity of the accident, you need to call 911. There are several services you may need, including:
- An official report of the accident by an officer
- Treatment or transport from EMTs
- Cleanup of flammable fluids from the fire department
These professionals can help you, and the others involved get the care and support needed after a car accident.
Your injuries may not be obvious
Often, adrenaline and emotions will mask pain, so you may not be able to tell what injuries you have. Before you decline assistance from EMTs at the scene, consider that you could have soft tissue or other internal injuries.
Whether you receive care at the scene or not, you should make an appointment with your regular doctor right away to assess any injuries you may have from the accident.
Do not discuss fault
After an accident, emotions are high. Even if the accident was not your fault, you might feel like you should apologize to the other driver. An apology, regardless of your intent, could be misinterpreted as admitting fault.
The side of the road immediately after an accident is not a good time to talk about who was at fault for the accident.
Collect and document
The scene has essential information you will need as you deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Be sure to gather as many details as possible, including:
- Pictures of the vehicles
- Insurance information from other drivers
- Contact information for the responding police officer
- Notes about what you remember happening
The information you gather could help you when it is time to process your claim.
Have an active role
Do not expect the details of the accident to resolve themselves. You should have a proactive role in dealing with the accident and any damages that should come from it.