No one wants to think about getting injured in a car crash, but those who are prepared will be better off in an emergency situation if it comes up. From the first few minutes after an accident to weeks and months afterwards, there are certain steps you should take to protect your own physical and financial well-being. Keep this auto accident glove compartment checklist handy in case of an auto accident.
Immediately After the Auto Accident
The roadways can be especially hazardous in the moments right after a traffic accident. While your car and others involved in the collision are at a standstill, other cars continue to pass by at a high rate of speed. The potential for additional devastation is very real.
- Remain in your vehicle if there is a potential risk. Your immediate safety is a priority.
- Move to a safe location if your vehicle has created a safety hazard or is obstructing traffic.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
When it is Safe…
- Assess your injuries and check on the well-being of others who are involved.
- Call 911 if there are injuries.
- Follow any instructions that police officers give you.
- Tell them the facts only; not opinions or extraneous information.
- Be courteous and polite, but do not admit fault.
- Get the officer’s name, badge number and precinct.
- Provide your name and insurance information.
- Call your auto insurance company if your coverage offers emergency towing arrangements.
- Write down the name of the tow company and where your vehicle is being towed.
- Document the names and contact information of any witnesses.
At the Scene
If your injuries don’t require an ambulance ride or ER visit, take this time to document the area. Use your camera or smart phone to photograph the following:
- License plates of any vehicles involved in the accident.
- Damaged areas of your vehicle, other vehicles or property.
- Any factors that could be helpful to investigators, such as skid marks, obscured traffic signs, lane position, street signs or other landmarks that can identify the accident location.
Take note of:
- Time, date and location.
- Weather, traffic conditions and visibility.
- Description of the accident.
- Description of injuries and damage.
- Details of police involvement.
- Adjuster’s name, phone and claim numbers.
In order to collect the information you need, it’s helpful to always keep a notebook and pen in your glove box for taking notes. There are also many apps you can download to use for photos and notes. Get all the information you can. Note the date, time, place, and description of how the accident occurred.
Collect the names, addresses, telephone numbers, drivers’ license numbers, VINs, vehicle make and year from all drivers. It’s also wise to take a picture of the license and registration for accuracy later.
One thing you should never do is get into an argument with other drivers or police. It’s not worth it. There will be time later to sort things out when you’re calm. Also, don’t sign anything at the scene and do not discuss fault.
- See your doctor to get your injuries looked at, treated and documented.
- Follow all doctors’ orders and take all prescriptions.
- Photograph injuries right away.
- Keep all receipts for anything that’s related to the accident.
- Call a trusted auto accident attorney.
- Take advantages of free initial consultations
- Keep up with all important court dates, if applicable, as well as appointments with the insurance adjuster and your lawyer.
In the event you are in an accident or stranded, it’s smart to think ahead and have an emergency supply kit in your car, containing:
- Bottled water
- First aid kit
- Dried/non-perishable food
- Jumper cables
Contact Auto Accident Law Firm
The aftermath of a car accident can be fraught with pain and frustration. Don’t let those factors cloud your judgement. Whether you think your injuries warrant a call or not, it never hurts to call auto accident law firm.