It can be difficult to compose yourself in the moments after a car crash.
However, what you do immediately after the accident and in the coming days can impact your health and the potential for compensation for damages.
Not reporting the accident
You do not have to report accidents resulting in minimal property damage and no personal injuries. However, contacting the police after a collision can benefit you if the other driver is at fault. Police collect information, talk to eyewitnesses, and document the scene in a report you could later use.
Not seeking medical attention
In severe collisions, first responders will arrive on the scene to care for anyone with injuries. However, if you sustained an injury but feel you do not need emergency medical services, it is up to you to seek medical attention.
Seeing a doctor right away could catch injuries with latent symptoms that would cause damage if left untreated. Additionally, you have a record of your injury and treatment. If you wait too long to go to the doctor and then file a claim against the at-fault driver, the defense could poke holes in your claim.
Not gathering evidence
At the scene of the accident, you have the opportunity to collect evidence for your claim if you are able. For example, you can take photographs of the damaged vehicles, your visible injuries and the surrounding area. You can collect names and contact information from witnesses and ask the other driver for insurance information.
The more evidence you collect, the strong your claim could be.