Victims of car crashes often act in fight or flight mode; they face injuries or are in shock and leave the scene beside themselves. While there is no way to predict what would happen if you ever got in a crash, reminders of how to follow up after a traumatic situation may help future you.
Should I talk to the other driver?
While it’s important not to admit fault or apologize profusely after a crash, you shouldn’t leave without touching base with the other driver. A courteous check-in with how they are shouldn’t hurt your claim and can help ease tension. After assessing everyone’s condition, swapping contact, license, car and insurance information is crucial. That way, after you take time to regroup and rest, you will have everything you need to file a formal claim or lawsuit.
Do I need to call for help?
Fortunately, every crash doesn’t lead to traumatic injuries, so calling an ambulance isn’t always necessary. However, calling for and getting the perspective of a police officer can minimize the chance of overlooking any critical harm and ensure that there are statements from everyone at the scene. Plus, injuries of any degree and costly car damage warrant an official report with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days, so calling for help at the scene can help fill in any blanks later.
How soon can I leave the site?
Besides exchanging information with the other driver and calling for help, collecting all the evidence you can is vital. Your phone can be an essential tool in this process by snapping photos and capturing videos of the damage and the location. And if your phone has a notes application or you can find a pen and paper, you can jot down what you saw and heard throughout the incident from start to finish.
Once you feel like you’ve gathered all the information you can, moving on to take care of yourself should be your next step. It’s necessary to see a doctor even if your injuries didn’t send you to the emergency room because it can take time for certain conditions to appear. And besides your doctor, you should also lean on other support networks you have as you recover and seek justice.