Every year, thousands of Americans are injured or killed in auto accidents on our roads. In fact, there were 10.8 million auto accidents that occurred in the United States in 2009 alone. While most drivers do try to avoid these types of situations, sometimes accidents are unavoidable.
With this in mind, knowing what to do after an accident is essential for a number of reasons. Having a specific plan of action for yourself and your family can make an enormous difference – especially in the confusing environment of most accident scenes, where even the most cautious and responsible drivers can find themselves overwhelmed in the aftermath of the accident.
An organized and simple plan can help to bring peace of mind to those involved, and a sense of calm knowing that you have the ability to make it through the ordeal.
Important Item Checklist
Being prepared is not as difficult as it may sound. With just some simple, very affordable items that can be stowed in your vehicle, you can rest assured with the knowledge that in the event of a crash, you have some items at your disposal that may be of assistance to you and anyone else involved in the collision.
The following items should be kept in an easily-accessible location and can include (but are not limited to):
- Vehicle registration and insurance identification card
- Cell phone
- Camera (if not available on cell phone)
- Pen and paper
- First-aid kit
- Emergency contact information
- A list of medical/allergy conditions (individual and family members)
- Jumper cables
- If possible, keep emergency flares, cones, and warning triangles in your trunk to forewarn traffic
While preparation is important, remaining calm and being aware of your surroundings is an important part of helping both you and your loved ones to make it through an accident.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident
When an accident occurs, it’s important to collect as much information at the scene, as the details of a crash can often be forgotten quickly by those that were either involved – or those that witnessed the accident.
Some quick points that you will need to check include:
- Verify that everyone inside of their vehicle is safe
- If there are any injuries, directly call for medical assistance
- The car away from oncoming traffic – preferably to the side of the road and out of harm’s way
- Activate their emergency flasher
- Call the police to file a report
- Do NOT leave the scene until a law enforcement officer gives you permission to do so
- Exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle. This exchange should include the person’s name, address, insurance information, and any pertinent contact information
- If there were witnesses, try to get their information in the case of a forthcoming investigation (i.e. name, address, and contact information)
- Use your cellphone to take photos of the accident scene and any damages
- Do NOT make any statements regarding the accident. Both parties can be held liable for any conversations that take place after an accident
- After exchanging information, try to take a few photographs of the accident in an attempt to document damages, location, and the general setting of the accident
- Contact your insurance agency to report the accident
- Even if you feel fine after an accident, it is always a good idea to get a check up from your doctor just to make sure that everything is okay. In many cases, it can take a few days for injury symptoms to become known and being prepared for that in advance is always a wise choice.
Contact Our Auto Accident Injury Attorney
Here at the Citrin Law Firm, we have a strongly held belief that negligent drivers should be held responsible and accountable for their actions. We have a proven history of trying to educate those in our local community about the dangers on our roads, with our founder – Andy Citrin – starting his own foundation to help bring awareness to this topic.
If you have been injured in an auto accident that was caused by another persons negligence, we can help. With our headquarters being based in Mobile, AL we service both Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and are ready to help with your personal injury litigation today.
To find out more, please contact us 251-888-8888 and a member from our staff will collect some details about your accident, and then quickly refer you to one of our attorneys – it’s that easy!
Alternatively, to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a member of our team, simply complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page!