Traffic crashes and the 5 steps to take next

When you're in a collision, you know that the steps you take next could be the difference between life and death. You may have seriously hurt people in your vehicle or see that the other driver or their passengers are hurt.

For this reason, it's important to know what steps to take following a crash. Here's a little more about what to do.

1. Call 911 right away

Even if people do not seem badly hurt, you really won't know immediately. The first thing to do is to get emergency care on the way. You can place the operator on speaker phone or call through your vehicle if you have a service such as OnStar. The operator may be able to give you information on how to treat a victim of the accident if you have to provide life-saving treatment until help arrives.

2. Assess your injuries and help your passengers

If you are able, the operator will likely have you check on the victims of the crash. If not, a witness may be able to take over the call and talk to the operator about how many people are hurt and what kind of help is needed. You need to assess your own injuries as well as those suffered by those you can see. Giving a general idea of how many people are hurt will enable enough emergency medical technicians come to the scene, so victims can get to the hospital and receive medical care faster.

3. Go to the hospital

The next thing to do is to go to the hospital. Even if you think you're unharmed, you need to have a doctor give you an examination and make sure you aren't suffering from conditions you're unaware of. Some people have so much adrenaline and the release of fight-or-flight chemicals from the brain that they don't realize when they are injured with life-threatening injuries. Let a medical provider perform tests and give you the all-clear before you return home.

4. Call your attorney

You will likely want to make a claim against the driver who caused the crash, so you should call your attorney to inform them of the collision. You can route calls from the insurance agents to your attorney, who can help negotiate on your behalf while you recover.

5. Collect evidence and consider settlement options

You don't want to take a settlement until you know that it's appropriate for your situation. Make sure to wait until you are stable and know what kind of medical bills and financial losses you face. You should never sign off on a settlement that won't pay for your losses.

Following these tips can help you go through the right steps after a crash. Remember, the other driver should be held liable for your injuries.

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