If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how terrifying it can be. The horrifying sounds and the immediate silence that follows. The gasp of air as you realise what has happened and the quick scramble to see if you’re okay. It’s a scary situation to find yourself in and adrenaline will be pumping through your veins. Your body will be shaking as your mind goes into the default protection mode of shock.
So, what now? No-one teaches you how to deal with this moment or act accordingly. It’s best to act calm, rationally, and put safety first. Remember, you’re still in the middle of the road and in a vulnerable position. Here’s what you do.
Make sure everyone’s okay – Before you do anything else, check yourself for surface wounds and immediate injuries. Don’t just assume you’re okay because you can’t feel the searing pain of a stab wound! With the amount of adrenaline running through your body, you won’t feel those initial problems. Check and double check your body, before tending to any passengers with first aid if necessary. Do the same for anyone in any other cars if you’re feeling okay.
Get off the road and make yourself visible – At this point, your mangled car may still be in the middle of the road. It could be creating a big tailback, making you vulnerable to further collisions. If possible, move the car to the hard shoulder or out of the way. If you’ve got any visibility equipment of clothing in the boot, take it out and use it. Place high-visibility cones around the vehicle and turn on your hazard lights.
Call the authorities – Your first call should be to the emergency services. The police, ambulance, and fire service will be on the scene within minutes to assist you. Make yourself known to the police officers and explain the situation. They will help divert traffic, clear the scene of debris and tend to any serious injuries.
Write down all the details – Your first concern will be for safety, however, it pays to think ahead. Once everything calms down, you’ll want to claim on the insurance and perhaps file a personal injury lawsuit. With that in mind, you need to collect as much useful information as possible. That includes the weather conditions, the time of day and the details of everyone involved. Take witness names and police officer details. If possible, take photos and sketch a diagram while the incident is fresh in your mind. These details will be crucial when it comes to claiming.
Call a lawyer – Once the scene is safely cleared and you’ve treated any injuries, call your lawyer. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you’re entitled to make a car crash claim and seek compensation. It will help pay for any health care costs and repairs to your vehicle. An attorney will give you advice on the claims process and help you reach the right settlement.
Dealing with a car crash is a terrifying experience, but try to stay calm and act rationally. Follow the advice here and you’ll soon be back on the road.