In 2021, there were 39,508 fatal vehicle crashes in the United States. These accidents resulted in 42,939 fatalities, not including those who were injured.
If you have been in a car wreck, you may not know what to do next. There are certain steps you need to take for safety and financial reasons.
With vehicle accidents so common, it is important to be prepared with this knowledge. This guide will help you understand how to respond after a car accident.
Keep reading to find out what to do after getting into a car wreck.
Check For Injuries
After a car wreck, things can feel very overwhelming. The very first thing you need to do is to check yourself for any visible injuries.
Some people walk away from a car wreck completely fine without a single scratch. But car wreck injuries are very common, and you need to be safe.
It is also important to check any other passengers to see if they’re injured. You may need to take action if anyone is injured, such as applying pressure to wounds.
Even if you don’t look injured, you still need to proceed with caution. Internal injuries and concussions are two things that could be invisible.
Because of that, it is a good idea to move as little as possible. If someone is obviously injured and it is an emergency, they may need to stay where they are.
Get to Safety
If you don’t have a car wreck injury, there is something else you need to do. The next step to take is to get yourself and others to a safe location.
There are a lot of situations where staying in the vehicle is not ideal. It may still be in the road, putting you at risk of being struck by another vehicle.
Some car wrecks could also cause a vehicle fire or explosion. To be on the safe side, it is always best if you can move away from the scene of the accident.
You may need to ask bystanders to help you do this if you’re injured. Keep in mind that it is very important to not move too much if you suspect you have a concussion or spinal injury.
If first responders are nearby, it may be safer to stay put until they arrive. First responders have stretchers that allow them to transport victims with very little movement.
When you are in a safer place, you need to report the accident. If you have your phone on you, call 911 to report where the accident occurred.
If you don’t have your phone or it’s damaged, you can ask a bystander to do this. The 911 responders will send over the police as well as emergency medical care.
It is very important that you do not leave the scene until the police arrive. They need to document the accident and ask questions about what happened.
Car wreck claims can be a bit complex, depending on the situation. Every case is different and there are certain things you need to file a claim.
If possible, it is a good idea to gather information at the scene. You can document the scene by taking photos of the damage or any injuries you have. Taking photos of your car, the at-fault driver’s car, and the scene in general can help preserve the evidence to help explain what happened to you.
It is also important to exchange information with anyone else who was involved. If the other person fled the scene, you could ask if bystanders saw anything.
You should also retrieve information from bystanders who saw what happened. If you hire a lawyer, they will want to get into contact with these witnesses.
Get Medical Attention
When first responders arrive, you need to cooperate with them. Even if you don’t believe you are injured, you need to receive medical attention.
There are a variety of car wreck injuries that are not physically visible. That is why it is safer to go to the hospital to get checked out, no matter how you feel.
Many times it may take hours if not days to feel the full extent of pain or injuries from a wreck. This may be due to adrenaline, shock, or some other reason. Also, due to swelling some internal injuries may not be observable initially and the swelling will need to recede before you can get a full picture of your injuries.
Because of this it is important to go to the ER and to follow-up in the days and weeks after a wreck with a primary care doctor or physical therapist.
This is also beneficial later on if you want to get compensation for damages.
Contact Your Insurance Company
There are certain legal matters to consider if you have been in a car crash. One thing you need to make sure you do is to contact your insurance provider.
You could call them to report the accident so that they can give you further instructions. The insurance company will tell you what you need to do to start the claims process.
Your insurer can also arrange to have your vehicle transported if necessary.
Get a Lawyer
Depending on the accident, you may want to receive compensation. An example of this is if someone ran a red light and struck your vehicle.
This is a very straightforward wreck where you were not at fault. Because of this, you could file a claim to receive compensation for property and physical damage.
To set yourself up for success, it is a good idea to hire an attorney for car wrecks. David Bell Law Firm specializes in this area, providing all kinds of accident services.
Steps to Take After Getting Into a Car Wreck
If you were in a car wreck, you may not know what to do next. The first thing you need to do is check for injuries and contact 911 to get medical attention.
You also need to gather documentation and contact your insurer to report the accident.
Do you need to hire a car wreck lawyer for your claim? Contact us today at David Bell Law Firm to schedule an appointment.