Getting into a car accident can be a scary and startling experience, especially if you are injured. Regardless, there are a few things that are important to try to remember to do after an accident.
1. Tell someone if you have been injured
If you are injured, at times the adrenaline and shock may cause you to not mention to the investigating police officer or emergency personnel that you were hurt. Sometimes, accident victims feel the rush of anxiety following the crash and they figure they will “shrug it off,” feeling better later. Just in case you do not feel better later, it is important to advise emergency personnel, or at the least the other driver, that you may have been injured in the accident.
2. Take photos of the accident scene
Right after an accident, the last thing on your mind may be to photograph the scene or the vehicles. If you can, however, take out that camera phone and snap a few pictures of the accident scene as well as the vehicles’ property damage. Reconstructing the accident is much easier when there are pictures of the street, the accident scene and the vehicles. If you can, even take photographs of bruises or other injuries that may fade as they heal.
3. Contact Emergency Personnel
If you do not think that you were injured, or the other driver does not want to call the police, you may become convinced not to report the accident. The Vehicle Code in California requires you to report any accident where someone may have been injured. It is better not to take chances and contact emergency personnel after an accident. That way, the police will create a report, documenting the scene and the reported injuries, and identifying any witnesses.
In this day of hand held devices and driving distractions, it is imperative that you pay close attention while driving. Do not text and do not spend time on the phone while you are behind the wheel. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of the road.