Keep an Emergency Checklist in Your Vehicle in Case of a Crash

  • If you are involved in an automobile accident, you may be in pain, suffering from whiplash, disoriented, confused, or hysterical. These feelings might make it difficult to think clearly. You might not be able to concentrate on what you should do next. That’s why it’s a good idea to develop a list of what you should do after a vehicle crash to preserve information in case you need to file an insurance claim or start a personal injury lawsuit.

     

    This list can be kept on your smartphone, but it’s also a good idea to print out a hard copy, laminate it and keep it in your car in case your phone is damaged. Having a list at hand helps you run through the steps you need to take in case of a crash. If you are not feeling quite right, or are taken to the hospital, ask someone else to complete these tasks so they can send you the information later. Items you want to have on your emergency checklist should include:

     

    • Well-being: You first need to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is okay. Perform basic first aid if someone is injured, bleeding or unconscious. Call 911 immediately to summon police and advise the dispatcher as to whether fire or emergency medical personnel will be required.
    • Information list: Have an emergency contact list available in case you are unconscious yourself or are unable to notify family members and loved ones. This list should contain the name of your significant other, primary physician, preferred hospital, any medical conditions or allergies, auto repair shop, health and auto insurance information, along with your attorney’s name and contact information.
    • Gather information: Talk only to the police, not the other driver, about the accident itself. The police will then complete a report regarding the accident. Make sure you have the other driver’s name, license information, and license plate number, as well as their insurance information. Get the names and contact information for any witnesses. Ask them to record their impressions of the accident on your phone. Take as many pictures of evidence at the scene as possible.
    • Take notes: Once everything settles down a bit, make a few notes to yourself of what happened. As best as possible, try to write down the exact accident location, what you were doing as the driver, what you observed the other driver doing, the location, time of day, road and weather conditions, and anything else that might be pertinent to any personal injury lawsuit you may decide to file in the future.
    • Establish a trail: Contact your insurance company immediately to start any appropriate claim process. If you or someone in your automobile is injured, seek medical attention immediately and contact a personal injury attorney to determine your rights and responsibilities. Even if you are not in pain immediately after the accident, it is important to take these steps in case you suffer whiplash or a traumatic brain injury from the impact. Write down the dates of all medical appointments, list any diagnostic procedures, and note whether you required treatment from a chiropractor, physical therapist, or other medical professional. Keep copies of all insurance and medical reports and bills, any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred, and get an affidavit from your employer regarding any lost time and wages.

     

    If you or a loved one is injured as the result of an automobile accident, contact a personal injury law firm immediately. An attorney will help you sort through your legal rights and options so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.