Car accidents are frightening, and in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to understand what to do or how to act. Like any complete unknown, you will never know how you will react until it happens. This makes it all the more concerning, especially given that there isn’t a standard protocol for the aftermath of a car accident. However, it is of critical importance that you know how to handle yourself after a car accident has happened – whether you were actively involved in it or you are just a bystander.
It is important to know how to act immediately after an accident and in the days and weeks afterward. You may find that you have a delayed reaction to the accident, only feeling traumatic emotions long after the accident occurred. This requires its own strategy, which may prompt you to go and speak to a counselor.
This is how to handle the aftermath of a car accident:
Remain calm as much as possible
There is no getting around the fact that car accidents are emotionally draining and traumatic events. You may be faced with a serious injury or even death, which can cause anyone to become emotional. However, while there is certainly a time and place to let your emotions out, the side of the road is not one of them. This is when you have to try as hard as possible to remain calm in order to discuss the accident with the other driver, seek the help of bystanders and talk to the authorities. Emotions might be natural, but they are not helpful to anyone who is trying to help solve the situation.
This point is especially important to remember if you feel someone else was responsible for the accident – whether a fellow driver, bystander, or even passenger. Adopting a siege mentality will solve nothing and only undermine your case. Furthermore, if you have other occupants on board, you should preoccupy yourself with helping them to safety, and making sure they are okay. You are, after all, the driver, and it is your responsibility.
Speak slowly and clearly with emergency services at the scene
Following on from the previous point, it is crucial that you interact with the emergency services in a calm and collected manner. Their first priority will be to ascertain what happened and gather as much relevant information as possible. Everyone reacts differently under duress, but try to avoid shouting, screaming, or crying. It will hinder the authorities’ ability to clear up the scene and ensure everyone is safe.
Seek the advice of an attorney
One of the most crucial steps to dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is to acquire the services of a car accident attorney, who will be able to assist you in navigating the legal minefield involved with an accident. However, an accident attorney can be of far greater service than this. They can give you the priceless guidance and support that you need during the fallout of a car accident. While friends and family can console you, it is reassuring to know you have a trained expert in your corner.
An attorney can help you unpick what happened and whether you will face any legal challenges. Having an experienced guiding hand after an accident can help you stop worrying about whether you have followed the right procedures and start focusing on putting your life back together.