The initial aftermath of an auto accident can be one of the most frightening moments of your entire life. Cars pass you by on the highway as you hear the ambulance sirens blaring off in the distance. It is an alarming experience–you may not even realize you’re injured until the paramedics approach you.
Doctors, lawyers, and insurance professionals agree–the first few hours after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident are the most crucial. How you and your family members go about this confusing time affects your future, your finances, and most importantly, your health.
Below are the steps you should take after you or your family member has been involved in a motor vehicle accident:
Call 911–The most important thing to do after a dangerous car accident is to ensure safety of you, your passengers, and the passengers in the other vehicle(s). Don’t assume another person has called–your life is too important to wait. Even if the other car suggests it, don’t just exchange insurance information and move on.
If you are injured, whatever you do, stay calm. Take deep breaths and know that help is on the way. Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your body, sometimes even more so than the collision itself. The last thing you want to do is increase the severity of your recent injuries. If you are experiencing burn injuries, do not try to remove clothing from the burn.
If you are an uninjured passenger, be sure to contact the authorities immediately. If you can, take photos of the car accident scene.
At the scene, take photos of the following:
- vehicle damage
- road conditions
- apparent injuries
An uninjured passenger or driver can also help by communicating with witnesses. If another car or two pulled over ask for their names and contact information–their information could be an asset later down the road.
Whatever you do, do not provide a statement to any insurance company.
Contact a St. Louis personal injury attorney. He or she can meet you at the hospital or talk you through things on the phone. An experienced car accident injury attorney can be your greatest advocate, even if you haven’t decided whether or not you want to pursue legal action.
Continue reading the St. Louis Car Accident Guide and learn about common collision injuries and what they may entail.