Accident scenes can be controlled chaos. First responders are experienced in taking control of an accident scene and making sense of things, however. To those involved in an accident, it can still feel very strange to have survived a car accident. You need to take care, though, because what you do and fail to do at an accident scene can affect your ability to be paid compensation.
Call for Help
In many cases, bystanders will have already called for emergency services. If not, look around and find a road sign or other landmark to give to the 911 operator. Once you have made the call, see if you are hurt. If there is no one to help you, only try to exit the vehicle if you know you are not badly hurt. If you are, don't move. Someone will come to you. If your vehicle is still running, try to turn it off and gather your belongings. Check on other passengers. If you can exit safely, do so.
In many cases, witness information will be gathered by law enforcement. However, if you meet someone that saw the accident, get their contact information. In many cases, various witnesses will have different accounts of what they saw depending on their location and view of things.
If you are mobile, snap a few photos of your vehicle, the other driver's vehicle, and some of the surrounding area. Photos of the vehicles where they came to rest can be incredibly important later. Take as many photos as possible since some of them might be blurry due to your trauma.
Watch What You Say
You will be asked repeatedly if you are hurt and, if so, how badly. Pay close attention to who is asking you questions. Answer in detail only to law enforcement and emergency medical personnel. To anyone else, just reply that you are not sure right now. It's normal to feel confused after an accident and you probably don't know about your injuries, other than the obvious ones, currently.
Get Medical Treatment
Go to a hospital and get checked out no matter how you feel. You might not realize you are injured. You must get medical treatment if you are to file a personal injury case. Later, if you notice additional aches and pains, go back to the doctor. Some injuries are slow to show up.
As soon as you can, speak to a personal injury lawyer. Once you do, you can relax and focus on getting better. Let your lawyer handle everything and get paid what you deserve.
Contact a local law firm to learn more.