Whether it is a minor fender-bender or something more serious, all accidents are traumatic and can leave participants feeling rattled and confused. When we are in this panicked state of mind, our cognitive functions become impaired, and it can be challenging to remember all of the important steps to take at the scene of a mishap.
By taking the time to review these four crucial actions, and keeping them on hand, you may find it easier to recall the steps to follow if the worst-case scenario happens to you.
1. Evaluate the Extent of Damage
Sure, your car may be crunched, but it is more important to evaluate your health and that of other people involved in the collision. When you place the call to the police reporting the accident, you will be able to communicate the need for medical care from the outset, ensuring medics arrive on the scene immediately. Depending on the conditions of the collision, you may also want to consider the need for a Lake County truck accident lawyer, to cover possible healthcare expenses.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully
It can be automatic to immediately apologize and take responsibility for unfortunate events. However kind this feels, these nice words can come back to haunt even the best of us in the case of a vehicle accident. Show concern, be polite and make sure everyone is okay, but after that, do not claim any personal guilt for the incident. Leave the discussion of facts to the police and your insurance company, as they are impartial and have the experience to handle the situation properly.
3. Focus on Gathering Information
If you are able, write down information about the accident while at the scene as it will be better than relying on your memory. Analyze the area and note the location of the accident, position of the vehicles, and what the weather conditions are. Using a smartphone, take pictures of the damage, street signs, and any other detail that can help answer future questions. Innocent bystanders may also be present, so collect their names and contact information in case witnesses will be needed.
4. Practice Good Manners
With emotions running high, people can react with anger and hostility after an accident. Though it may be difficult to keep yourself calm, it is worthwhile to make an effort. If issues arise concerning the accident, your actions can work against you, so keep them positive, compassionate and even-tempered. This focused control of your emotions will keep you from causing further complications and establish you as a cooperative participant in the case.