After a collision, you’re likely to be in shock. Not many people are fully prepared or know what to do after a car accident. If your condition permits, there are important actions to take at the accident scene.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Immediately after an accident, it’s very helpful to stay calm and assess the situation. First of all, stop. Make sure not to block traffic if possible, and turn on emergency flashers.
Check on people who may be injured, providing basic emergency first aid if you know how. Call 911 and describe the situation so that medical responders have some idea what to expect. Follow the instructions of the emergency operator.
Make sure everyone is in a safe place. It is very dangerous to stand or lie in the roadway or right in front of a vehicle that is stopped along the road. Oncoming vehicles could run into anything or anybody on the road.
While you wait for police and medical help, try to warn passing traffic by setting out cones or flares up the road if you have any.
Make A Record
Write down notes to help you remember what happened. Record the location, date, time and weather conditions. Note the license plate numbers, make, model and color of all involved vehicles. Take pictures of the accident scene and damage to vehicles. Don’t move any vehicles or accident debris until police give the okay to do so.
Talk with other drivers to collect names, phone numbers and insurance information. Write down names and contact information of witnesses. It is important to note which law enforcement department responds to the accident scene; identify if it is the Texas Highway Patrol, the Austin City Police or both. Try to record names and badge numbers of the officers.
Dealing With Authorities
Listen carefully to police officers’ questions and provide honest answers without volunteering additional commentary, unless you have reason to believe another driver may be intoxicated and want to draw attention to that driver.
Avoid stating that the accident was your fault. You have incomplete information, and a legal conclusion about responsibility for an accident isn’t possible without an investigation.
Remember to report your accident to the Texas Department of Public Safety, as required if anyone is hurt or killed or if there is more than $250 of property damage.
Get The Help You Need
Obviously, if you have serious injuries you can’t do much at all at the accident scene and will be taken by ambulance to a hospital. If you don’t feel you need immediate medical attention, you still should be seen right away. Some injuries, including dangerous head and brain injuries, might not immediately exhibit symptoms.
For the best results, you’ll need a lawyer to help you reclaim the cost of medical care for your injuries. If you have to miss work, you may be able to recover lost wages. Try to keep a daily journal to record how you are feeling and what treatment you are given as you heal from your injuries.
Plan Ahead, Before An Accident
Anticipate car accidents and be prepared by keeping supplies in your car. It’s a good idea to carry supplies, such as a notebook and pencil in the car. In the trunk, place an emergency flashlight, road flares, bottled water, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.