Motor vehicle accidents, from minor collisions, to serious catastrophic situations, can be a traumatizing event to go through. After an accident, your adrenaline is pumping, you might feel scared, even angry. Also, you or your loved ones could be physically injured. It is important to have a checklist of what to do after a motor vehicle accident for everyone’s safety.
- Assess Safety
- Move your vehicle out of the way if the accident is minor and your vehicle is a hazard or obstructing traffic. Place your car in park and turn on your hazards.
- NEVER leave the scene of an accident.
- Check for injuries of those in your vehicle. DO NOT move someone who appears to be seriously injured. You can cause them further damage. Also, do not attempt to move if you are injured or it is difficult to do so.
- Once you’ve assessed the safety of those in your vehicle, assess the safety of others involved in the accident if you are able to do so.
- Never apologize to other parties involved, it can imply fault. Instead ask “Are you okay?”
- Call for Help
- If someone appears to need medical attention, call 9-1-1. If you cannot call, ask someone to call. In the case of an emergency, and you need to ask someone to call for help, experts agree that people are more likely to help if you ask them directly to dial 9-1-1, rather than just yelling “Somebody call 9-1-1.”
- Always call the police to report the accident, even if the accident is minor.
- Gather Information
- Get the names of drivers and passengers, license plate numbers, insurance company name and policy number.
- Write down the location of the accident, use street names if possible.
- Document the name and badge number of responding officers and what department they belong to.
- DO NOT admit fault, even if you think you may be at fault.
- Seek Medical Attention
- A lot of people involved in car accidents do not initially feel the need to seek medical treatment after an accident. It is quite common to not feel systems of a car accident injury until hours or even days after the accident.
- Always err on the side of caution. It is better to get evaluated by a medical professional for minor injuries, than to wait to seek treatment. This can cause you more physical harm in the long run if proper medical care isn’t sought immediately.
- Prepare for an Emergency
- Pack a safety kit in your car that include a first aid kit, warning triangles or flares.
- Keep important documents in your glove box: automobile insurance company policy information, registration, health insurance information or health history.
- Always carry your ID and a fully charged cell phone with you while hitting the road.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.