We like to think that we always practice safe driving habits, and we trust that those sharing the road with us are also driving safely at all times. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality, and auto accidents do occur. The more time you spend in your car, the greater your chances become of becoming involved in a vehicle accident at some point. That’s why it’s worth taking a look at some tips for preparing yourself for this possibility. For many car accident victims, it’s common to experience a state of shock following the incident, so it’s especially important to think about what you should do ahead of time. Should you find yourself involved in a car accident in the near or distant future, you will thank yourself for having prepared yourself for this possibility.
Strategy #1: Carry Supplies and Documents With You
You never know when a car accident will happen. Whether the incident occurs hundreds of miles away from home or during a routine trip to the neighborhood grocery store, it’s helpful to have supplies and paperwork on hand. Stash a small first aid kit, some energy bars, and unopened bottled water in the trunk of your car. If you get in a wreck, you or a passenger could sustain minor injuries, and having band-aids and gauze on hand may prove useful. You may also become thirsty or hungry while waiting for law enforcement officers or emergency vehicles to arrive. Additionally, double-check to make sure that you have your driver’s licence, car registration, and auto insurance card on your person or in your vehicle every time you drive your car. In the event of an accident, you’ll need access to these documents.
Strategy #2: Immediately After an Accident, Seek Medical Attention
As soon as the accident occurs and the cars have stopped moving, assess the scene to determine if anyone requires medical attention. Even if no one seems to be suffering from any obvious injuries, you should still move carefully and consider going to Urgent Care or a physician in the immediate future. Some injuries, such as whiplash or head traumas, may not become evident until hours, or even days, after the incident occurs. Once you’ve either called for an ambulance or decided to visit your doctor in the coming days, take a quick picture (or more) of the scene and then immediately move your vehicle completely off the road so that you keep the area safe for other drivers.
Strategy #3: Contact Law Enforcement and Gather Documentation
Even if you think you have a clear idea of what caused the accident, it’s highly recommended (and, in many cases, required by law) to contact the police and inform them of the accident. The responding officer will file a report that may prove to be extremely useful in the future, especially if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver. You’ll want an unbiased, factual account of what transpired, and the police report often ends up being essential to filing a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You’ll also want to take some time to document key detains at the scene of the accident. Take photographs of any damage or injuries you received, jot down notes about what happened, gather contact information from the other driver and any witnesses, and ask the police officer for a copy of the report. Should you eventually decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, this information will be very useful to build a successful case.