Even a minor car accident like a rear-end collision will leave you feeling shaky at the very least. However, you must take action once you feel more in control.
Here are six steps to take if you are the victim of a car crash:
1. Check for injuries
Check yourself for injuries, then check your passengers, occupants in the other vehicle and any bystanders. Call 911 if someone requires prompt medical attention.
2. Call the police
You should report the accident to the police, even if it is a fender-bender. When a law enforcement officer arrives, he or she will write a report about the incident. Request a copy.
3. Exchange insurance information
Get contact information from the other driver as well as his or her insurance information. It is also a good idea to take down the VIN of the other vehicle.
4.Take notes and photos
You may not carry a Nikon around with you, but you can use your cell phone to take pictures of the crash site, the damage to your vehicle and the license plate of the other car. Jot down information that relates to the crash; for example, the weather conditions, which direction you and the other car were traveling, highway markers or street signs.
5. Obtain medical treatment
Even a minor accident can result in injuries that are more serious than you anticipated, and some symptoms do not show up right away. Headaches that develop days after the crash could indicate a head injury. Back pain could signal damage to muscles, nerves or vertebrae. Disturbing flashbacks to the accident or nightmares might indicate post-traumatic stress disorder linked to the crash. Seek prompt medical attention after the crash.
6. Seek legal assistance
A personal injury attorney will advise you not to share any accident information, including recorded statements, with an insurance company without obtaining legal advice first. Keep in mind that a medical report linking any injuries you have directly to the car crash will be important when your attorney negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf. No matter the extent of your injuries, you will be entitled to full and fair compensation to cover medical costs and more.