In the US, there are over 6 million car accidents happening every year. The good news is that most just involve property damage. However, around 33% of car accidents do involve personal injury. When you are involved in traffic accidents, especially big ones, like truck accidents, it is important to know what to do. With this in mind, here are the vital things that you should know.
You should never drive away. Even if the car accident is just a minor one, you need to stop the vehicle and stay at the scene. Then, you should protect it by keeping flashers on and setting up flares. When this is not possible and it is dark, turn on your flashlight.
Contact The Police
Do this even if no injuries are noticed or they are minor. Police reports are almost always necessary when filing claims with insurance companies. You need them even when you just want to receive compensation to cover damages. Only move the vehicle if it interferes with incoming traffic.
Say everything that happened when asked by the police officer arriving on the scene. Never guess, misstate facts, or speculate. When the investigating officer asks you if there is an injury, just say that you are not 100% sure. Never say no even if you think so because injuries and pain following car accidents often become apparent after some hours passed. Whenever possible, make sure all statements others make are accurate.
Start Taking Photos
When your phone has a camera, take pictures so all car damage is visible. When there are visible injuries, make sure to also photograph them. Just make sure you never interfere with the police investigation. When pictures cannot be taken at the scene, just start shooting them as soon as you can after the collision.
In most cases, the police officer at the scene will obtain all the important information. But, when the police end up not responding, you still need to have the address, phone number, and name of all involved, including passengers and drivers. Also, obtain data about car insurance. To do this, you need to see the other drivers’ insurance cards. When witnesses are present at the scene, get contact information from them. Your attorney might need to contact them.
Get Medical Attention
In so many cases, motor vehicle accident injuries are not apparent. People involved often feel pain a couple of days after the accident. Always seek help from a medical professional. You can do this by visiting the local emergency room. Alternatively, the family physician is also a good choice if there are no visible injuries.
Remember that even in accidents with minor impacts, permanent and serious injuries can appear to the spinal cord. When you were dazed or lost consciousness, it is possible you have a closed head injury or a concussion.
You also need to get medical attention because this will give you medical records. These records will be very helpful in the future since they can be used as proof in a personal injury claim.