One unfortunate aspect of car accidents is that they seem to happen unexpectedly. Though there are various warning signs and hazards that occur before collisions, many serious motor vehicle accidents involve driver error, distractions, impairment and vehicle defects. Victims who sustain injuries in incidents where there are multiple safety hazard issues tend to suffer more consequences in the aftermath.
There are a variety of actions you can take to protect yourself and your passengers from the dangers of the roads and other motorists besides wearing a seat belt and using responsible driving practices. Knowing what to do after a car accident can help to protect you and your loved ones from the short and long-term financial, medical and overall complications that can occur afterwards.
Do not exit the vehicle until it is safe
Accident scenes are not the safest locations for motorists to get out of their vehicles. If you must get out of your vehicle, make sure you are in a safe area to do so. Anticipate the possibility that other drivers on the roads may not see you or your vehicle. To avoid additional collisions or injuries, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and call the authorities right away.
Get visual evidence
If the accident scene is off to the side of the road, a parking lot or somewhere there is little to no traffic, check the area for hazards before you get out of your car. Take pictures with your smartphone from all possible angles of the accident scene, any other vehicles and the overall road conditions.
Do not rely solely on law enforcement to provide you with the names of people who are witnesses to the event. Write down the name and contact information for each person or victim at the accident scene to have for your own records. If you decide to file a personal injury suit for injuries or wrongful death, your witness information and photos could prove invaluable to your claim’s success.