No one can predict when a car crash will happen, nor can the outcome be anticipated if there is an accident. The one thing we can do is adequately prepare for the possibility of a car crash. Still, you can spend your whole life preparing for a car crash, and when the day comes, it will hit you that you were never truly prepared for how it feels.
Gathering your thoughts after a crash can feel hopeless when you are in shock and distress. Knowing what to do after the accident is even more challenging, which might mean that you may miss taking fundamental steps to protect not only you and others involved in the accident but also your future. Remember this: Nothing is more important than your health and safety. As a general guideline, use the following list to learn the first eight steps you should take after a car crash in Colorado.
Take a minute to cool down and collect yourself after an accident. When your emotions are high, it is typically harder to think clearer and make rational decisions. Do not jump out of your car to assess the damage or react by getting angry or screaming.
Instead, sit in your car for a minute, if safe, and take deep breaths. Tell yourself that you have just been in an accident and slowly begin to examine how you feel. Try to place yourself—are you on the main highway? How many other people are involved? Has anyone stopped to help? Is it safe to exit your vehicle? If you are unable to move, stay where you are and wait for help.
Get to Safety
Once you process the situation and determine that you are physically capable of moving yourself, get to safety. This is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent further damage from occurring and secure the accident scene. If you are still on the road and your car is functioning, move over to the shoulder and turn on your hazards. Then, immediately turn your vehicle off to prevent a fire. You can also wave down drivers if more help is needed and let passenger vehicles know to slow down.
Check for Injuries
Initially, you may not have noticed any injuries. If you are out of your vehicle and start to feel any pain, sit down, and wait for emergency medical attention. If you feel okay, make sure all passengers in your car are safe too. Check on the other parties, and do not worry about hashing out the details of the accident just yet.
Notify the Authorities
If it has not already been done, call 911. In Colorado, car crashes must be reported. Even if you do not think your accident is that serious, the police can thoroughly investigate what might have caused the accident. Plus, the police can get a medical team over quickly to assess you. Try not to disclose any information about the accident that might implicate yourself. You will have to tell the officer your personal information, but you do not have to say anything about the accident until you are sure of what to say. This may be a good time to call a family member or close friend or have the officer call them to let them know that you were just in a car crash.
Get Checked Out by a Medical Professional
If emergency medical services respond to the scene, let them perform a medical examination to pick up on possible health complications. Even if you feel no discomfort, it is important that you undergo these services for the sake of how you might feel in the hours, days, or weeks following the accident. If you are seriously injured, emergency services can transport you to the nearest hospital so that you can receive the proper care you need. Even if your accident were minor, and emergency services did not respond; it would be wise to seek medical attention from your primary care physician in the following days.
Retrieve Necessary Documents
Meanwhile, it is essential to retrieve all necessary documentation from everyone associated. This includes getting the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses that may still be at the scene. Exchange the following information with the driver or drivers involved:
- Phone number
- Insurance provider and policy number
- Driver’s license information
- License plate number
It would be helpful to get the name and badge number of the officer who responded to the scene just in case there is an issue with the police report or for any other questions you may have. Usually, though, the officer will give you a driver’s exchange form that holds all that information.
In addition, photograph damage from all vehicles and take pictures of any visible injuries you have. Take close-ups and far shots, as well as interior and exterior pictures. These can be used to build your case and reconstruct the accident.
Report the Crash to Insurance
No matter who is at fault, reporting the crash to all parties’ insurance companies is crucial for several reasons. For one, most insurance companies require their policyholders to notify them within a specific time in order to be able to exhaust certain coverages. Secondly, if you plan on filing an insurance claim, you will need to let insurance companies know so they can send an adjuster out to the scene to evaluate the damages. The insurance companies will call all parties to obtain a recorded statement on what happened. Although you should report the crash to the insurance companies, please be cautious about what you say. It may be in your best interest to call a qualified Colorado personal injury attorney for help knowing how to proceed.
Make a Journal
Having a journal can help keep you organized after an accident. Keep track of your day-to-day injuries and pain levels, all your doctor’s appointments, time missed from work, claim numbers, and discussions with insurance companies. Jot down how your daily life has been impacted, including any time you have missed from work. Note any difficulties you have endured because of your injuries such as emotional and financial burdens. Put all your receipts, bills, and other additional expenses that you have had to pay out-of-pocket in the journal to ensure all your losses are accounted for.
Pursue Justice After a Car Crash in Colorado With Mintz Law Firm
The personal injury attorneys at Mintz Law Firm are here to help with your car crash, from listening to the details of your injuries to discussing potential legal avenues we can pursue to seek compensation for your losses. We apply the full weight of our 150 years of collective experience and skills to attain justice for our clients who have been wronged by the negligence of others.
Here at Mintz Law Firm, the purpose of our approach is to ensure you receive focused representation and attention during this difficult time. You will have peace of mind knowing that we will invest our time, resources, and skills in fortifying your future. Call (303) 462-2999 or complete a contact form today for a free, zero-obligation consultation today. We are ready to get working for you.