Car accidents are the norm on many roadways in Ohio. Average motorists may experience a few car accidents in their lifetime. However, those chances increase dramatically when other factors are present, such as drunk motorists, speeding and reckless drivers. Knowing how to avoid those factors can help keep you safe. But knowing how to handle the aftermath of a car accident can protect your rights and keep you from experiencing legal and financial complications in the future.
Stay on the site
Even if your accident is a minor one, you should never leave the scene until law enforcement arrives and says it is okay for you to do so. In more extreme car accident situations where serious injury and death can occur, leaving the scene of an accident even if you are not at fault can lead to severe legal consequences. Play it safe and stay.
Assess yourself for injuries
If your injuries are mild to moderate, you may not notice them right away. It is easy to dismiss minor aches and scrapes as nothing. But many kinds of moderate to severe injuries can develop hours or even days later after the accident. If you feel fine, you should assess your passengers for signs of injuries and contact the authorities. If any of your passengers are stuck or lodged under a part of your vehicle or they are unconscious, you should not attempt to move them, because they may have internal injuries.
Make a police report
A police report is helpful to have when you are dealing with an accident where there are injuries and property damage. Car accident claims are hard to prove without police reports and other pieces of evidence that can establish at-fault parties. You can use this document to support your claim if you decide to follow up with your insurer and seek compensation.
Document the scene with pictures
If you can, take pictures from every angle of the accident scene. Be sure to include as many details as possible, such as pictures of any traffic lights, signs and intersections that are present. You should also record witness details in case further information is necessary to support your claim.
Many people attempt to deal with the aftermath of car accidents alone, not realizing how complicated things can get. To minimize problems, you should stay calm and remember that your actions can affect the outcome of your situation. If you have injuries from a car accident where you were not the at-fault driver, you should discuss your situation with an attorney to learn more about your options.