Any kind of Montgomery, Alabama, auto accident can be stressful, traumatic, and confusing. You are likely to have a number of important questions that need answers. It can be difficult to know what to do, especially if you are seriously injured. If someone else caused the accident through extreme recklessness, then you may be upset and angry. It is important to avoid acting on the emotions that may be involved in the aftermath of an accident. Confronting someone in anger will only make things worse. Failing to act because you are in shock can also lead to worse outcomes. This is where you need to know what steps to take and how to get through the situation without causing further harm.
The first thing that you need to know to do, regardless of what kind of accident you are involved in or how severe or mild it may have been, is to come to a full stop at the scene. Then, do not leave the scene until you have either been cleared to do so by the police. You should then contact the police no matter how minor the damage may be so that you have a record of the incident. If you decide to leave the scene of an auto accident without identifying yourself, exchanging information, and responding to the needs of others, then you could face hit and run charges, which can be a very serious situation involving the loss of your license, jail time, fines, and other consequences.
It is also important, legally and morally, to make sure that you attempt to provide first aid and any assistance you can to anyone who is injured. You also need to contact emergency assistance for severe injuries. If someone is seriously injured, then you should call 911, remain calm, and communicate with the operator. You will tell them the situation and your location and describe the injuries of those you are trying to help. The operator will direct you in providing first aid, so you must be calm and listen carefully to those instructions. It may be that you need to put pressure on a wound, provide CPR, or even move someone who is injured if they are still in harm’s way. In most cases, you do not move an injured person. However, there are situations where it is necessary to do so. Moving an injured person could cause further injury or even death, depending on the types of injuries sustained. Yet, you have no way of knowing for certain if they have a spine injury or a neck injury that could kill them if moved. If their vehicle is on fire, then you may have no choice but to try to drag them to safety.
While you are attending to injuries and/or waiting for help to arrive, this is no time to worry about evidence and the details of the collision. Yet, once you know that you’ve done all you can, that the professionals are on the scene, and that you are not already being transported to the hospital yourself, you can take the time to focus on these details. You should gather evidence in the form of photographs, witness contact information, and your own logged memory of the collision.
Take pictures of any injuries, any property damage, the position of the vehicles, any relevant road conditions or traffic signals, etc. The more evidence you collect, the stronger your claim will be later. Write down the details of what you remember and the details of the involved vehicles and witnesses. Write down the color, make, model, and year of the vehicles. Write down the license plate numbers. Describe the incident as you remember it. When the police arrive, ask them about obtaining a police report. Cooperate by answering questions, but do not discuss fault and do not apologize to anyone. Doing so could be taken as an indication of guilt even if you are not the at-fault driver.
Even if you think you may have been at fault, you should not disclose this concern to others. Rather, you will want to wait until the accident has been investigated and fault has been established. You will need to notify your insurance company that an accident has occurred, but again, you should not discuss fault. Contact the Montgomery, Alabama, auto accident attorneys at The Vance Law Firm before you go into detail about the accident with anyone else. Your attorney will make sure that the case is investigated properly, evaluate the evidence you provide, and help you to explore your options.
You may be fortunate enough to be completely uninjured in your Montgomery, Alabama, auto accident, but you should still seek medical treatment. You might find out that you do have injuries and that the pain was masked by the shock and adrenaline. By catching these injuries early, you get the treatment that you need to prevent them from growing worse. You also get medical documentation of those injuries so that they can be connected to the auto accident as the causal factor.
The sooner you contact the Montgomery, Alabama, auto accident attorneys at The Vance Law Firm, the better off you are going to be. Our attorneys will make sure that your accident is properly investigated, that all evidence is considered, and that fault is established fairly. If you are not the at-fault driver, then our auto accident attorneys will help you to explore your options for recovering compensation. Your initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by seeking experience legal advice.