Anxiety and stress are common after a car crash. These are virtually impossible for you to prepare for ahead of time. It is a good idea to think about what you are going to do if you are in a crash before you are even involved in one. This can give you the background to know what needs to be done.
There are several things to think about if you are ever hit by another vehicle. Your plan should encompass what to do at the scene and what you must do afterwards. Here are some important points to remember:
Contact the police
There is a misconception that every accident requires a police officer to come to the scene; however, Ohio law only lists three specific instances in which the police must report to the scene. These include:
- The accident is fatal.
- It caused an injury that requires medical care.
- The property damage is greater than $1,000.
While some cities do have their own reporting rules, those are the only three instances covered by state laws. You should make sure that if you don't have the police come out to the scene, you still file an accident report. This can be done online, in many cases, or you can go to the police department to file the report.
Ask for medical care
If you are injured or if the accident was serious, you should ask for medical care when you contact emergency services. It is possible that some injuries might be hidden, so be sure that you keep a close eye on how you feel in the days following the accident. If you notice anything amiss, get appropriate medical care.
While you are at the scene of the accident, gather evidence if you are able to do so safely. At a minimum, you need the other driver's license and insurance information. Try to get contact information for anyone who saw the crash. Taking pictures of the scene is another good idea. Make sure you don't take pictures of only the damage to the vehicles. Try to get pictures of the area around the crash. This might make it easier for you to show what happened.
Be careful with your statements
Choose your words carefully after the crash. Even if you are making conversation after the wreck, don't say something that would lead anyone thinking you are claiming fault in the crash. You must also speak carefully when you speak to police officers, insurance adjusters and others after the accident. Always be honest but think about how your words will be perceived. This can help to protect your case if you choose to seek compensation.