What To Do in the Event of a Car Accident

By Eric Hamilton

Sep 09, 2019 10:06 PM EDT

Nobody likes having to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. You might be in physical pain, and you might've even lost out some time at work. But it's crucial to keep your cool at a car accident scene. Knowing how to handle a car crash incident increases your chances of receiving fair compensation with the help of a car accident lawyer.

Different Types of Car Crashes

There are three different types of crashes which you are most likely to be involved in. The three most likely kinds of car crashes are:

  • Head-on collisions.
  • Rear-end crashes.
  • T-bone wrecks.

Those are likely to be the most prominent and most severe kinds of crashes that you might be involved with. According to West Coast Trial Lawyers, barriers on highways have fortunately cut down on the incidence of direct impact head-on collisions. Rear-end crashes are on the rise with more and more drivers being distracted by their phones. And a t-bone wreck happens when a driver makes a left turn into oncoming traffic. Intersections remain a dangerous place where almost half of all car accidents occur.

Let's say you're involved in a head-on, rear-end or t-bone crash. No matter which type of collision you've had, the critical criterion is how severe the crash is. The more severe the crash, the more care you will have to take at the accident scene. Not everyone will have a Los Angeles accident attorney in their contacts, so you'll need to remember some basic ideas.

Major and Minor Crashes

Crashes can be divided into major and minor crashes. If it's a major crash, then you will need to be more conscientious compared to a minor car accident. Here's how to tell what you need to do according to the extent of the collision damage.

Minor Car Crashes

Minor crashes involve mainly property damage. They don't involve deaths and usually result in only minor injuries. Some examples of minor crashes include backing into somebody or sideswiping them. Sideswipes usually don't result in major damage because both cars are usually traveling in the same direction. Insurance agencies have claim centers to help facilitate these insurance claims.

A crash is a minor one if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Less than $1,000 in damage.
  • No vehicles need to be towed.
  • No deaths.

If it's a minor crash, then you can just move the vehicle after receiving the necessary info from all the other people involved in the accident.

The information that should be collected is as follows:

  • The other party's name and address.
  • Their driver's license number.
  • Take as many picture shots with your mobile phone as possible. These can then be sent to your insurance provider.

All of these details will assist with any insurance or police investigation.

Major Car Crashes

The next type of crash that you are likely to be involved in is a major crash. A major crash involves any of the following:

  • Injuries, including individuals needing hospitalization.
  • Property damage of more than $1,000.
  • Vehicles that need to be towed.
  • A fatality.

If any of the above matches your accident scene, then you should call the police. 

Gather Necessary Information At A Major Car Crash Scene

You'll need the following information in the event of a major crash:

  • Driver's license numbers.
  • The other party's address and contact info. Be respectful of the individual's privacy. Keep all gathered information safe to guard against identity theft.
  • Take pictures of the scene, including license plate numbers and images of all of the damage done.

Photographs are an excellent method of getting the necessary information. Some of the people involved in the crash won't be able to provide you the info that you need.

Safety At A Car Accident Scene

You will need to secure the scene if you're in a car accident. At issue is the safety of everyone at the crash scene. You'll need to make certain you don't get run over by oncoming traffic. Most major crashes occur at high speeds on highways.

Consider setting up flares to cordon off the car accident area. You can ask other people who stopped to help you to direct traffic on the roadway. If it's at night, it would be good to have some type of clothing (or a tarp) that reflects light. Keeping a flashlight in your automobile is also a good practice. You can also employ the flashlight app on your smartphone. Be sure you're waving the flashlight around to gain people's attention.

Since you've been in a wreck, there's no guarantee that the flashing hazard lights will work on any of the cars. It's probable that the vehicles are in some way disabled while waylaid at the crash site. You can ask any of the stopped cars of those who are trying to help to activate their four-way flashing lights. If you're in Southern California, perhaps you can call a Los Angeles accident attorney for advice. But making sure at least one car activates their hazard lights will help get the attention of the other traffic. Once the scene is reasonably in order, it's time to call the police and to notify emergency medical personnel.

The next thing you should do is to attend to the injured. Hopefully, you have taken a first-aid course already. This training gives you the competence to administer first aid. Don't move any person unless you absolutely have to. For instance, only move them if they're out in the middle of the road somewhere. It makes sense to move them if they are in danger of being hit by another car. Otherwise, let the paramedics make that decision.

Dealing With Injuries

It might help you to drive more defensively since nobody wins in a car crash. You're likely going to suffer some kind of injury in a crash. These injuries are going to cause long-term damage if not treated properly. Many people who get rear-ended suffer some sort of soft tissue damage. Don't let anyone who isn't a qualified medical professional move you if you are hurt in an auto accident. The paramedics will make sure that you have your head restrained properly. Let them place you on the spine board to prevent more soft tissue damage from occurring. Soft-tissue damage is something that might require physical rehab. Going to a hospital and getting checked out will help these injuries heal properly.

How To Deal With Insurance Companies After A Car Crash

In the event that you sustained a significant injury in a car accident, insurance companies aren't beating down your doors to assist you. They make more profits if they don't have to pay out cash. Some insurance settlements in automobile crashes take years to settle. This is mostly due to insurer apathy. The other side likely has an auto injury lawyer to assist them, so make sure you have a car accident personal injury lawyer as well.

Make sure you have a professional team behind you for your auto injury lawyer. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information.

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