Across the United States, car accidents befall millions of us every year. And, the idea of being in a car accident is scary, but if we prepare for the eventuality, it is much less scary.
Buy and install a dashboard camera now
In the past, lawyers would recommend that people keep a disposable camera in their glove compartment to take pictures immediately after the car accident. Now, we have dashboard cameras that will do all the work for us, and they will show video of the accident, how it occurred and what happened next. These videos can be the difference between being able to hold the negligent driver accountable or not.
Immediately after impact
Stay calm and breathe. Keeping a level head is key. Now, check everyone in the car for injuries. Make sure everyone is okay. If anyone looks seriously injured or is unconscious, do not move or shake them. This could make their injuries worse.
Now, call 9-1-1. With many first responders stretched thin right now, many operators are trained to not send out the police or ambulance, unless absolutely necessary. Even if the accident is relatively minor, the goal should still be to get first responders on the scene. Even though, everyone in the car may feel okay, they may not be okay and we do not know what is happening in the other vehicle. Do not give the dispatcher a reason to not send out first responders. The police report can be instrumental in proving liability and getting compensation from their insurance company.
Move the vehicle to a safe position, and if there is no safe position, try to find a safe place to wait outside the vehicle. Put on the hazard lights and be sure to turn the car off.
Hopefully, the dashboard camera has already been installed, so pictures and videos are not an issue. If they are though, be sure to take some quick pictures of the accident before moving the vehicle. Next, exchange information, including contact and the Lake Oswego, Oregon, insurance information, with the other driver. Take a picture of the insurance card, driver’s license and license plate. Document the location, including the details of the other car. Get the officer’s name and badge number, and ask them how to get the police report. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their details as well