The time after a car accident can be a daze of emotions, trauma, sirens, screams and worry. However, if you prepare now, it can be a much less chaotic scene, and you can be in a much better position to fight for your rights when the bills come due.
First, in addition to a dashboard camera, you should have a car safety kit already in your car. The dashboard camera should ideally have a 360-degree view, including the inside of the car, but at least show the front and back of the car. In addition, the car safety kit should have blinking safety lights, road flares, safety cones, among many other safety items.
After the initial impact, the first concern should be safety. Check yourself and everyone in the car. If anyone needs immediate first aid, it should be in your car safety kit. Apply it and call 9-1-1.
Give them your location, and specifically ask for first responders (police and ambulance). Even if there are no immediately apparent injuries, do not say that, and do not undersell the accident or the potential injuries because if you do, they likely will not send either.
Next, if the car is movable, it is likely more dangerous to leave it in the street. If it is movable, move it off to the side of the road, turn off the engine, turn on the hazard lights and then, put out the safety lights, road flairs, or safety cones.
Be sure to secure your memory card from your dashboard camera, and if you are able, begin to gather additional evidence. Before moving your car, take pictures of the accident scene from your car. If it is safe, take pictures from outside. After moving your car, you can still take pictures of the car crash scene and the other car.
Make sure you get the other driver’s information, including the driver’s contact and insurance information. The car information, and the police officer’s name and badge number. If you do not know how to get the police report, ask. And, if there were witnesses, get their information as well. All of this information could be invaluable in your later personal injury lawsuit.