What you do in the moments that immediately follow a motor vehicle accident collision is vital for your safety. Handling your car accident appropriately could also help preserve your right to file a lawsuit in the event that the collision wasn’t your fault.
Here are a few of the most important considerations to keep in mind after you’ve been involved in an automobile collision:
Turn your hazard lights on: The blinking hazard lights on your vehicle will alert other drivers on the roadway around you that your car is not moving and potentially in the way. Your hazard lights will allow other vehicles more time to slow down and potentially prevent a secondary collision.
Remain in your car if you’re seriously hurt: One of the most dangerous moments after a car accident happens when seriously injured victims try to get out of their vehicles to inspect the damage. For one, injured victims will probably not be thinking clearly, so they could be more likely to step in front of a passing vehicle. Secondly, the heavy traffic in the roadway might not see the victims getting out of their cars. If it’s feasible, it’s a good idea to just stay in your car with your seat belt on to prevent getting hurt more than you already are.
Move your car if you can: f your car is still movable and you’re not seriously harmed, you might want to drive it as far off to the side of the road and away from traffic as possible. Then, exit your vehicle and wait for police to arrive at a safe distance from the road and surrounding traffic. If you smell gas or if there’s a fire or smoke, do your best to exit your vehicle immediately even if you’re hurt.
Be careful when dealing with the other motorist: There’s no telling if you will be dealing with a potentially unstable individual when interacting with the other motorist involved in your crash. It’s best to not engage any driver who seems angry or upset. Give him or her plenty of space and patiently wait for police to show up before engaging him or her.
The above tips will certainly help you stay safe if you’ve been involved in a catastrophic accident. In the days and weeks following a serious collision, you might also want to investigate your legal rights and options — especially if you’ve suffered a serious injury and the accident was not your fault.