In California and throughout the nation, car accidents happen every day that range from minor fender benders to serious, life threatening or even fatal tragedies that forever change people's lives. Even a non-life threatening collision can be quite upsetting and may cause you to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. If you or your loved one suffer moderate to severe injuries, the recovery period may be long and arduous, not to mention, expensive.
It's understandable that you might feel a bit shocked or confused in the moments following a car accident. If you're well enough to think clearly and to safely exit your vehicle, you'll want to try to move a safe distance away from traffic while you wait for police or rescue workers to arrive. There are definitely things you want to avoid doing after a car accident, as well.
Five things you do not want to do
If you are seriously injured, chances are, you'll find yourself on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance before long. If you are still at the scene and able to converse, you'll want to keep the following things in mind:
- Never leave the scene of a car accident unless rescue workers are taking you to a hospital. Otherwise, stay there until police say you may go.
- Avoid confrontation with anyone else who may have been involved in the collision or who approaches the crash site.
- Do not agree to keep the incident between you and the other driver. Not calling 911 or notifying police may lead to serious legal problems down the line.
- Even though you may want to put the accident behind you and think of happier things, it is critical that you remember what happened in as much detail as possible. Failing to document where you were, what time it was, what you were doing when the crash occurred, etc. may cause obstacles if you later to decide to file a personal injury claim in court.
It's always a good idea to make note of any suspicious behavior you may have witnessed in the moments before impact of a collision. For instance, did you see the other driver looking down at a cell phone behind the wheel? Did he or she fail to stop at a red light? Was the driver traveling at excessive speeds?
What to do with such information
Anything and everything you can recall regarding the events leading up to the crash that caused you injury may be helpful if you need to present evidence in court to help substantiate a personal injury claim. As a plaintiff, you are tasked with proving that someone else was negligent and that his or her negligence directly resulted in your injury.