Have you ever seen a TV commercial from personal injury attorneys promising to get you the compensation you deserve after a car crash? Some of them can be so intense that they make you afraid to drive. Still, there are valuable lessons to be learned from them. The lessons come not from what the commercials actually say, but rather what they imply.
Liability is always a question following a car crash. In other words, who is at fault? Does one driver bear most of the responsibility, or are multiple drivers to blame? The answer to that question forms the basis of a personal injury case. The last thing you want is to end up being a defendant in such a case. So to that end, here are a number of things you should do immediately following a car crash – whether or not you think you are at fault:
The absolute first thing that should be done is placing a call to 911. You need the police on scene as quickly as possible. If there are serious injuries involved, you are going to need an ambulance as well. Liability and personal injury attorneys aside, the health of everyone involved is the first priority.
Check on Other Drivers
Assuming you are not seriously injured, the next step is to check on other drivers and their passengers. You might be able to render aid to someone who was seriously injured. And if not, just comforting them while you wait for police and ambulance crews to arrive could make an enormous difference.
If you find the other driver or passenger is still inside his or her vehicle, do not attempt to move that person unless there are obvious signs of imminent danger. Why? Because moving someone the wrong way could make existing injuries worse. Leave it to the professionals unless circumstances dictate otherwise. You will minimize your liability that way.
Swap Insurance Information
With any luck, neither you nor the other driver will be so seriously injured as to be incapacitated. Assuming that is the case, your next step is to swap insurance information. However, do not discuss the accident or who was at fault. Do not admit to anything either. Just swap insurance information and wait for the police to arrive.
The importance of not saying anything cannot be understated, according to Florida-based VG Law Group. As South Florida personal injury attorneys they know that admitting to fault can be detrimental to a driver’s defense. It is better to say nothing and let insurance companies and courts determine fault.
VG Law Group attorneys also recommend taking pictures of the accident scene. Pictures are evidence, and attorneys for everyone involved want as much evidence as they can get their hands on. Take pictures of each car as well as the surrounding area. If any mitigating circumstances contributed to the accident – like a downed tree or pothole for example – take pictures to document it.
Contact an Attorney
Once the emergency situation has been resolved you can then contact an attorney. Getting in touch with an attorney is a good idea even if you think the accident is minor. After all, you never know how another driver is going to react. What might seem minor to you could be a big deal to someone else. You do not want to be caught off guard by not having an attorney should you need one.
Now you know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a car crash. Hopefully you will never have the opportunity to put these things into practice.