To begin, let’s go over what to do at the scene of a crash. The moments after a car or truck accident are critical. You will likely be quite shaken up after a crash, but knowing what steps to take can help you during the legal process down the road.
Below are the steps you should take if you or a family member has been involved in a car accident. These steps apply to both drivers and passengers, and can be helpful to all parties, regardless of fault.
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1. Call 911.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is very important that you do what you can to ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and the passengers in the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Begin by calling 911. Do not simply assume the other driver, a pedestrian, an onlooker from another car, or anyone else has taken this action. Your well-being is too important to wait.
In many instances, the other driver may suggest simply exchanging insurance information and moving on. This is not a good idea. Call 911.
2. Take care of the injured.
If you have been injured in the car or truck accident, stay calm. This will likely be difficult to do, especially if you’ve been seriously hurt in the crash. Stress and anxiety can harm your body more than help it, sometimes more than the collision itself. Take long, deep breaths to calm yourself down, and take some comfort in knowing that the proper authorities have been called, and that help is on the way.
If you are an uninjured passenger, call 911 (if you haven’t done so already). Then do what you can to help those who are hurt in the accident. Keep calm and provide as much comfort to them as you can as the authorities try to get there.
In the instance of a burn injury, do not remove clothing from the burn. Allow paramedics to tend to this type of very delicate wound—early treatment methods can be key to scar prevention and long-term effects from burns.
3. Take photos of the crash scene.
In this day and age, nearly everyone has a cellphone with the capability to take pictures. It can be extremely helpful if you have photo evidence from the scene of the crash. If you don’t have a camera on your phone, it is likely someone nearby does. Ask them if you can borrow their phone for pictures.
At the crash site, be sure to take photos of:
- Any vehicle damage
- Road conditions
- Debris or wreckage from the crash
- Apparent or possible injuries
4. Communicate with witnesses.
Be sure to get all witness accounts of the accident, if possible. For example, if other cars pulled to the side of the road after the accident to help, ask the driver or passengers for their names and contact information. Their firsthand account of the crash could be beneficial in the future.
5. Contact a Denver auto accident attorney.
The sooner you reach out to a Denver car accident injury attorney, the easier it is for her or him to help you get the care and advice you need. An experienced injury lawyer can be your greatest advocate after a car crash, even if you are not yet sure whether you want or need to pursue legal action. Do not assume that, if you are the party at fault, a lawyer cannot help you. In many cases, a driver may believe they were partially at fault, but in fact the negligence of another driver or party caused the accident.
No matter what the circumstances are following a car accident, do not provide a statement to any insurance company—yours or the other driver’s. That’s where your experienced personal injury attorney comes in.
To learn more about common types of car and truck accident injuries, continue to the next page of our Denver Auto Accident Guide by clicking below.