Accidents are such a jarring experience that puts stress on thoughts, as well as, emotions.
When we go through an accident; be it a car accident, a work accident, or any other type, it is easy to get thrown off balance. You see, the mind is a fragile thing; an accident acts as a jolt that throws is off its axis. So, you really shouldn’t beat yourself up if you were involved in an accident and you didn’t really know how to react; it is not entirely your fault. However, it would definitely help if you had some idea of what you should do when an accident takes place. That way, you will find it easier to get your mind to regain its balance by going to trace the steps of what you should be doing in the case of an accident.
For this reason, we’ve put together a bunch of steps that are guaranteed to be of help, should you need them
1. Don’t Leave the Scene
While most people get overridden by panic and an overwhelming feeling to run away, you need to be the one to interrupt those thoughts and take control over your own body. Even if the accident isn’t a big one, you should never leave the scene without resolving the issue; either with the persons involved, or by involving the authorities. Running would simply lead to you forfeiting your rights.
Instead, try to check up on the other people involved in the accident. They may be in need of medical attention, or they may be just as scared as you. Helping them out, or even simply having a chat may lead to the whole thing blowing over without you having to go through any more procedures.
2. Secure the Surrounding Area
With accidents, chain reactions aren’t uncommon. Have you ever seen a highway pile up? This is why it is necessary for you to provide some sort of signal to other drivers, workers, or people in general, so as to bring their attention to the accident nearby. For example, if you happened to be involved in a car crash because of poor weather conditions, it is preferable that you provide some sort of flashing lights or a reflective strip. It will help you avoid other cars crashing into yours; thus, protecting your safety, and theirs.
3. Cooperate with the Authorities
In case the authorities have been notified; which should always be the case, you need to make sure that you are as honest, and as accurate as possible when recounting the events. If you know something say it, even if it may seem irrelevant to you, to them it may be of a certain value. Likewise, if you are not a hundred percent sure that you saw something, don’t say otherwise. It is okay if you are not able to provide any information that is crucial to the case; all what you need to do is to provide an accurate statement.
4. Document the Accident
It is also important that you gather enough visual evidence from the site of the accident. As soon as an accident happens, when you can, you need to take as many photos as you need to accurately paint a picture of what happened. Sure, you can show these pictures to your family and friends but, this is not why you need to take them.
The main reason is to show them to your insurance company, or your lawyer. But, as most insurance companies take their sweet time to investigate claims, you should also know that the guilty party that caused your injuries is also responsible for your treatment as long as you have reliable and proper documentation of the accident. Marie Napoli from Napoli Law explains that if you suffered a personal injury as the result of another’s negligence, hiring a lawyer will ensure that you have the financial stability to pay your medical bills. Not only can these help you with your medical bills and treatment, but will teach a lesson to those responsible of your injuries.
5. Contact your Insurance Provider
Speaking of insurance companies, another thing you need to do after an accident is to contact your insurance providers. Some insurance companies may launch their own investigations, while others require their clients to report the accident within a certain time period of it happening. Either way, you need to go to them and present them with your data, as well as, ask them to go over the details of your coverage plan again. You need to know to what extent do they cover medical bills, or car repair, or any other damages.
6. See a Doctor
This one may seem a bit obvious but, it still is worth mentioning. It is critically important that you see a medical professional as soon as you are free to do so. If you have been visibly injured, it is important that you start a treatment plan to prevent further damage. On the other hand, there are some injuries that aren’t visible. This is why it is important that you visit a hospital for a general check up, just to make sure that you are okay. After all, better safe than sorry.
7. Prepare a File
If a case has been filed, you are guaranteed to need a lawyer who, in turn, will immediately require some basic information. This is why from the moment of the accident you need to start compiling any documents that would serve your case. Remember those pictures that you were supposed to take? These should go in there, along with documents that prove how much you have spent due to the accident. You should also keep any information related to your claim, if you plan to file one.
No one likes accidents, and no one likes to imagine themselves in one. However, it is important that you know how to handle an accident, in case it happens. You would be surprised at how different it feels to be involved in an accident while knowing what to do after. That being said, remember to not beat yourself up about an accident that may have happened in the past; just try to work on yourself so, you can handle the next one better.