Don’t panic. Breathe. Car accidents are bad enough without your body’s fight-or-flight response ratcheting your anxiety levels to high alert. The best thing you can do immediately after a car accident is to collect yourself and gain composure because if there is anything seriously wrong, you need to have the wherewithal to act. Therefore, to help you find calm and order, focus your energy on eight things.
- Turn Off Your Vehicle
While this may seem like a no-brainer, many people forget to take their keys out of the ignition. The reason you want to make sure you turn everything off is to help prevent further damages and to improve safety in the aftermath of the crash. A running engine can lead to fires or other risky events, so shut it down if you can.
- Check Yourself
Adrenaline is a good mask for pain, which is why it is necessary to visually inspect your body, especially when you are pregnant. If you are experiencing contractions, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or had a direct impact to the abdomen, don’t move if you can avoid it. Call 911 and request a paramedic.
- Move to a Safe Area (If Possible)
If you feel OK and are not experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you should try to exit your vehicle and get to a safe area. Move onto a sidewalk or curb to ensure that you are clear of oncoming traffic.
- Call the Police
Whether you have serious injuries or not, police should always be called to the scene of an accident, especially a significant one. Don’t panic or point fingers, accidents happen, and instead of escalating tension, it is better to let the police sort out the details.
- Check on Others
Once you are safe and have called the police, check on the others involved in the wreck. Most likely, the 911 operator will ask you questions about the people involved, allowing you an opportunity to assess other drivers and passengers.
- Gather Information
Gathering information is necessary for insurance purposes. You will want to get the insurance and contact information of the other drivers involved. Also, you might want to get the contact information of witnesses in case you file a claim.
- Take Pictures
Documentation is also important. Photograph your injuries, damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle as well.
- File a Claim
Last, you can file a claim. Gather all the information and proceed to a courthouse to file the paperwork.
Accidents are dangerous and result in losses. Take special care if you are pregnant and afterward contact a personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC to discuss your recovery options.
Thanks to The Law Office of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and how to deal with a car accident when pregnant.