Many people feel lost after a crash. Will their insurance really cover the damage? Are they really injured enough to see a doctor? Are there steps that they can take to protect their health, their finances and their legal options?
1. Contact the authorities.
Massachusetts law only requires drivers to report a crash if that crash resulted in $1000 or more in property damage, injury or death. However, you may want to report your accident even if you do not believe your crash was serious enough to merit a formal report. As the Insurance Information Institute notes, an official report can be key if your car is has underlying damage that you cannot identify immediately or if you take legal action in the future.
2. Seek medical attention.
Most people know that they should call an ambulance if someone has sustained severe injuries in a crash. However, medical attention could also be key for people who do not seem to be seriously injured. Many injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, may not result in immediate symptoms, and early medical attention allows a medical professional to identify all of your injuries and treat them. Visiting a doctor also shows that you took your injuries seriously and documents them so that they can be linked to the crash.
3. If you are able, document the crash.
While the police will document the scene of the crash and create a police report, you may want to create your own record. Take photographs of the scene, and document information like the street name and the directions the cars were going. Write down the other driver’s name, car make and model, car color, license plate number, insurance provider and other details. You may also want to collect the contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
By taking the right steps after a crash, drivers can fully document the accident and protect their options in the future.