1. Do Not Panic
Asses your situation. Orient yourself to your surroundings. Determine whether your car is drivable.
2. Make Sure You (and Your Passengers) Are Safe
This your number one priority. Depending on where you are, the extent of your injuries and the condition of your car, you will have to decide what the safest course of action is. If you are on a busy road, and you are capable of driving your car to a safe area away from traffic, this is a very good idea. If your car is not drivable, put on your hazard (4-way) lights. Do not get out of your car unless it is safe to do so.
3. Call the Police to Attend the Scene
If you’ve been injured in a serous car accident – if you, any of your passengers or anyone else has been injured as a result of the accident, call 9-1-1.
Make sure you are able to provide the precise location of the incident, as well as where you are now in the event you’ve moved your vehicle to a safe location. If anyone is injured, this information will be your focus – make sure you tell the emergency dispatcher what kind of injuries they are dealing with, so they can assess what personnel needs to attend the scene and prioritize appropriately.
Keep calm and listen. In some situations, you may need to follow instructions from the emergency dispatcher to ensure those who are injured are safe.
4. Gather Information About the Car Accident
If you have moved to a safe place, and are able to move about, gather information from the other driver(s), including their insurance information, driver’s license and license plate. Using your cell phone to take pictures can make this very easy, but just be sure the photos show the information clearly.
5. Document the Scene
Take pictures of the car(s) involved in the car accident from all angles to show the damage. If you have remained at the accident scene and the vehicle(s) haven’t moved, pictures showing the relative positions of all vehicles can be useful.
It can often be useful to draw a diagram of how the accident happened, showing the position of each vehicle involved in the accident at the moment of impact, and including any details that you feel are significant. This will greatly improve your ability to remember details of the car accident later on, should it be needed.
6. Get Treatment
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may or may not need to go from the scene of the accident to a hospital. If you are asked by a paramedic if you need an ambulance or if you need to go to the hospital, and you think you might be injured, it is best to go the hospital. Remember, most people involved in a car accident get a temporary rush of adrenaline, which has been shown to mask even very significant pain for a short time. Be safe, and get yourself checked out.
If you don’t go to the hospital, but feel the onset of pain over the next few hours or days, depending on the severity of your symptoms, visit your family doctor or your local hospital as soon as possible. If you do need to start a legal claim, it is critical that the onset of your pain is properly documented by health professionals.
If the hospital or your doctor provides you with treatment – whether therapy or medication – be sure to follow their directions carefully. Getting early treatment for your injures significantly improves your chances of making a full recovery.
7. Contact Samfiru Tumarkin LLP for Free Legal Advice
It’s critical that you understand your legal rights. Often, there are insurance benefits that you may be entitled to that we can help you to obtain, free of charge. If another person was at fault for the car accident, we can discuss whether you could have a legal claim as a result of the accident.
Keep in mind that there is no risk in calling us. All consultations are always free so there’s no reason to wait.