Being in an auto accident can be a frightening experience. Knowing what to do at the scene of an accident can help ease your fears and prevent missteps along the way.
The steps below are intended to be a plan of action at the scene. After you leave the scene of a Bloomington accident, it is a good idea to call a car wreck attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Crash
In the initial moments following an accident, you will, of course, want to make sure everyone is safe and determine if anyone needs medical treatment, including your passengers and any other drivers and their passengers. Stay calm and avoid any confrontations or accusations. You should not admit fault or apologize, there is no need to discuss fault when determining if anyone needs medical attention.
The recommended steps to follow at the scene of an accident include:
- Report the accident immediately. The dispatcher will ask you if medical assistance is needed at the scene. While waiting for police to arrive, make the scene as safe as possible. Anyone who is able should move away from the vehicles to a safe location.
- Remain calm when talking to any other drivers who were involved. Don’t discuss any details of the accident or comment on who may have been at fault. Do not admit or accept liability for the accident. The only conversations you should have about the accident should be with the police or your lawyer.
- No matter how you feel at the scene, don’t assume or tell anyone that you were not injured in the crash. You may not realize that you hit your head, strained your neck or back, or suffered bruising immediately following the accident. Often these seemingly “small” injuries become more significant the next day. If you think there is any possibility you may have been injured, accept medical attention at the scene.
- Record information. It is wise to record information from other drivers who were involved in the Bloomington vehicle accident, including names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, the name of their insurance company and agent, as well as passengers’ names and phone numbers. Be sure to ask who owns the vehicle. If anyone claims to be injured in the accident, make note of the injuries they are reporting. You may be able to take photos of the other driver’s license and insurance card if they offer but avoid any confrontation with witnesses or other drivers.
- Make notes concerning involved vehicles. Your notes should include descriptions of any vehicles that were involved, the damages, and license plate numbers. Use your phone (or a camera) if you can take pictures of the other vehicles, license plates, damages, and other photos of the scene from different angles, debris from the vehicles, any skid-marks, any other elements that may have contributed the accident, and where the vehicles are situated related to the accident.
- Get witness information. If there are witnesses, make sure you take their names and phone numbers as well.
- Get officer and police report information. Ask the police officer on the scene how and when you can obtain a copy of the police report. Make a note of the name and badge number of the officer taking the accident report.
- Keep a journal. You may think you will remember every detail of the Bloomington car accident, but memory is fleeting. As soon as you are able, write a description of what happened. Include a drawing of the accident scene to show how the accident occurred. Keep notes about how you’re feeling, what medical treatment you have, and any impacts your injuries have on your life.
- Report the accident to your insurance. Contact your insurance company as soon as it is practical. They will walk you through the necessary steps following an accident to make a claim.
- Injured? Call a lawyer. If you believe another driver was at fault for the accident and you were injured, you may want to seek advice from an experienced Bloomington injury attorney. Initial consultations are free with most personal injury lawyers.
Are you interested in legal representation for an automobile accident? Contact us today for a free consultation.