Posted on: 21 July 2017
Nobody wants to be involved in a car crash, but chances are good that in some point during your life, you will be in a collision. In the minutes after a crash, it's easy to lose your wits and forget what you should and should not do. A good strategy to make sure you react properly is to remember the acronym SAFETY. Here's what each letter stands for, and a closer look at the actions you should take.
S: Safe Place
The very first thing you should do after a crash is move to a safe place if you are physically able to do so. Do not remain in your car in the middle of traffic. Move to the side of the road. Once you are in a safe place, call the police if they are not already on the scene. Even if the crash was very minor, it's essential to call the police since you'll need an official police report in order to file a claim with your car insurance company. If you cannot find your phone after the accident, ask a bystander or the other driver to call the police for you.
A: Assess The Situation And Your Condition
Once you are in a safe place and have called the police, it's time to take a closer look at the situation. First, assess your own body for damage. Are you relatively okay, or is there an area you expect is strained or broken? If you have any open wounds, apply pressure to them to keep bleeding under control until help arrives. Stay sitting quietly on the side of the road.
If you are in good shape after the accident, find the other driver and make sure they are okay. Do not say much else to them at this point, though. You don't want to accidentally say something that could sabotage your claim or case to collect for damages related to the accident. Once you've confirmed the people in the other car are okay, go back to sitting quietly and waiting for the police.
F: File a Claim
Don't wait to file a claim or try to negotiate with the other driver outside of the insurance system. There's no guarantee that the other driver will pay you, even if they say they will, and if you later find out that the damage was more extensive, you'll be out of luck. Most insurance companies now allow you to file a claim online, though you can certainly do it over the phone if you're more comfortable with this strategy.
T: Take Pictures
Before you leave the scene, always take a lot of pictures of the accident. Try to step back far enough that you get the entire scene into one photo. Then, take more focused snapshots of the damage to your car. Take pictures of any conditions that led to the crash, such as black ice or broken road signs. These may be particularly important if you end up having to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Y : Yes to Medical Attention
Always get looked over at the hospital after a car accident, even if it's just a fender bender. Some injuries, like whiplash and muscle tears, do not show symptoms immediately -- but your doctor may be able to detect them. If you wait too long to see the doctor, you may struggle to convince your insurance company that your injuries actually happened in the crash.
If you remember the acronym SAFETY after a crash, you'll be off to the right start when it comes to filing a claim and receiving the help you need. If you have any trouble in the days or weeks after a car accident, don't hesitate to contact an attorney from a place like Radano & Lide!Share