Imagine, you’re at a red light, music cranked up, and you’re singing to your playlist. The person behind isn’t paying attention to the red light and crashes into the back of your car. Your mind is racing a mile a minute. “What happened? What’s that smell? It’s the airbag. Why does it smell like that? The eggs in the trunk, they’re ruined!”
Accidents, big and small, can be terrifying experiences. Figuring out what to do when it happens is a tall task when you’re pumping adrenaline. That’s why it’s always good to be prepared and hope you’ll never need to use this information.
- This first step is simple to say, but incredibly difficult to do in the moment. Stay calm. With your fight or flight instincts kicking in, you are likely to be scatterbrained. Take a deep breath and get an understanding of your surroundings. Can you feel any immediate injuries, keep in mind adrenaline is a powerful pain suppressant. People have been known to walk on a broken foot and not realize it.
- This plays directly into the first step. After you have an understanding of your surroundings, make sure you get to safety if you’re not, especially if you are at a busy intersection or on an interstate.
- If you forget the first two, don’t forget this step. It should be ingrained in everyone and be an instinct when something bad happens. Call 911. If you forgot the first two, that’s fine, the 911 operators will help keep you calm and ensure that you’ve moved to a safe place if you’re able.
- Call a loved one. Even if your accident is a small fender bender, give someone a call or text to let them know what happened. It is much better that they hear from you to know what happened than finding out through another means.
- While the police are on their way you can start gathering information you’ll need to submit to your insurance. Get the name and insurance information of the person that hit you. Take note of your injuries, even if you don’t feel any injuries. Remember you’re still full of adrenaline and some injuries can take time to show, so avoid telling people that you’re fine or not hurt. Take pictures and video of the damage. The more the better.
- When speaking with other drivers, stick to getting their information and nothing else. You’re going to be in a persuasive state of mind and your recollection of the accident can be altered. Anything you say can be used by the other party against you when it comes to your compensation claim. Have a healthcare professional decide if you’re injured or not.
- I’ve heard people argue this one numerous times. “It wasn’t my fault, so why should I tell my insurance? The other person’s insurance will handle it.” Most times, the at-fault insurance company will take care of things. Sometimes, however, they are not so easy to deal with. They could try to claim that it was actually your fault, in which case you’d need your insurance company to back you up with all the evidence and information you dutifully collected while waiting on the police because you stayed calm and got yourself to safety. Remember, they’re not in the business to give money without taking someone the distance to justify the amount.
- Now for the hospital. Your adrenaline should be ebbing and you may start to feel pressure or pain. Even if you don’t, it’s still important to get checked out. Auto accidents are common and medical professionals are well trained in knowing what to look for, even if you feel fine. It’s important to reiterate this, because if you say you’re ok because you don’t feel anything at the time and it doesn’t show until later, the other insurance company can accuse you of lying or exaggerating to get out of having to pay adequate compensation.
- You’ve dealt with the police, your insurance company, and have been discharged from the hospital. What’s next? Getting your check from the other party’s insurance? Not yet. The next step is to contact Wade Law to have them review your case to make sure that the other party’s insurance is properly compensating you. With you staying calm and following the steps in this blog, you’ll be arming our personal injury attorneys with everything they need to keep the insurance company accountable and getting you the compensation that you deserve.
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident call the Wade Law Firm at (815) Wade-Law.