What to do in a Car Crash
POSTED November 7, 2019
Car crashes can be very scary even if they’re small and might not result in any damage. The impact can be dangerous and frightening. The most important thing, if you’re involved in an accident, is to stay calm. It’s the hardest part of the whole process; although, it seems like it should be the easiest. Follow the steps below to handle a car crash in the best manner possible.
Step 1 – STOP! Don’t leave the scene of the crash or it can be recorded as a hit and run. This includes accidents that happen on private and public property.
Step 2 – Protect the scene by leaving all evidence for the police. Move the vehicles if they’re on a busy street with only minor damage. Pull into either a close parking lot or a quiet side street. If your hazards are in working condition use them. Flares and flashlights are good substitutes.
(A tip from Roosevelt’s resource officer Gannon is that cars will continue to move around your vehicle after a crash. Be aware of this danger and move away from the scene if there is potential risk of injury.)
Step 3 – Someone needs to call the police, either someone involved in the accident or a helpful bystander. Even if there is no visible damage, the police need to be contacted. There needs to be a police report in order to obtain medical attention if there is any pain in the days after the impact; most insurance agencies need a record of the accident in order to help pay for medical bills.
Step 4 – Help make the police record as accurate as possible. Tell the officer exactly what happened; tell the officer if some of the facts about the accident are unknown. Don’t guess. Internal damages cannot be detected right away. If there is a feeling of malaise contact medical services immediately.
Step 5 – Take pictures of the crash. Make sure to look for visible car damage and where the vehicles were impacted. This will help to identify which damages were from the crash and which damages had been on the car prior. While taking pictures of the accident do not interfere with police work. Also take pictures of any injuries because they can disappear and evidence can be lost.
Step 6 – Exchange information with the other party involved in the crash. By state law persons involved in the crash should exchange information before the police arrive. The officer will also give you a small sheet of paper with more information on it after they talk to both parties.
Step 7 – After the police say it is okay to leave, report the accident to insurance. Med-pay is in some insurance bundles and will pay for anything medical related following the crash. It will cover medical attention such as a chiropractor appointment or a check up at the doctor.
Step 8 – Be sure to seek medical attention as needed. Most pain will occur the following day. Common injuries from a crash include damage to the spinal cord and possible head injuries.
Step 9 – Make a file. In the file record the “claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident”
Step 10 – Protect your rights. The right to an attorney can be upheld before making a claim to insurance agencies. This consultation can be used to get the best payment for your car damage and help to receive the best medical care. The person held at fault for the accident also has the right to go to court and dispute the incident to a judge.
Roosevelt’s police officers gave some advice for safe driving; here are some tips on how to drive carefully and prevent an accident.
Tip 1 – When parking, either pull through or back into a parking space. Most accidents in a parking lot occur while someone is backing out.
Tip 2 – Avoid distracted/careless driving. The definition of careless driving according to codified laws is “any person who drives any vehicle… without due caution, at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger any person or property… is guilty of careless driving.” Distracted driving can include switching the radio station or picking up something you dropped while driving. Careless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor.
Tip 3 – When driving in the winter, leave earlier. This will give more time to drive somewhere which will allow better driving. Without the rush of getting somewhere on time people tend to take their time while driving instead of speeding.