Having a plan in place makes it easier to respond to an emergency situation. The stress and trauma of a car crash can make it hard for you to react quickly and appropriately unless you already know what you should do.
While the exact needs of the situation will reflect the scene of the crash and other details, there are three steps that you should take after a car crash regardless of the circumstances.
Check for injuries, and follow up with a doctor
Checking yourself and your passengers for injuries is often the first response a person has to a crash. However, there are injuries you may not notice right away, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries. Even hairline fractures might not produce obvious pain or other symptoms until a few hours after the crash.
Especially if you have any reason to suspect injury to the abdomen or head, such as blunt force trauma or experiencing violent shaking, medical evaluation is very important for your safety and your compensation rights.
Call the cops to make a police report
If no one seems severely injured, the other driver might try to convince you to avoid calling the cops. They might say that they’ll pay out of pocket for your costs.
Unfortunately, if you don’t report the crash, you will be in a vulnerable position if you try to hold them to their word. Getting their documentation as soon as possible and calling to report the collision will help protect you and your rights.
Document the scene of the crash before anyone moves or leaves
Unless you or someone else has a severe injury, take the time to video and photograph the scene of the crash. You may need to move the vehicles when police arrived, which might make it harder to show that you were not the one at fault.
The more documentation you have of the scene of the crash and the specific damage to your vehicle, the easier it will be for you to prove that you were not the one who caused the collision.