Millions of car accidents happen annually across the globe. The majority of them include only property damage. A huge chunk of those numbers see some major and minor injuries to the passengers, and a cluster of those injuries have resulted in either instant or gradual fatality. It’s an ugly situation for everybody involved, and in an ideal world, the complications would stop at the loss of a loved one. Sadly, fatal car crashes aren’t simple. They rarely end where your grief starts, and it’s often followed by a long process intended to pin the responsibility on someone and make compensation for those who were wronged.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s good to know beforehand what to expect and how best to handle them. Gaining prior knowledge will give you a better chance of having an objective view of the situation, which will save you from emotionally-charged decisions you might regret later on.
Leaving Is Never an Option
Car accidents vary in severity, and fatal crashes don’t always involve barely recognizable vehicles and plenty of blood. It leaves drivers and passengers filled with adrenaline as a response, and sometimes people leave the scene out of sheer panic. Even if there’s a heavily injured individual in your car, it’s not advisable to drive to the hospital. First, your car is compromised and could lead to further road accidents. Second, injured individuals may not be suitable for moving. Internal damages and spinal trauma can worsen with abrupt and misguided movement. At worse, they can be fatal. Your safest option is to call 911 and perform first aid while waiting for first responders to arrive.
Be as Accurate as Possible
The police will want to get a statement from you as soon as you have received medical attention. You must be as accurate as possible in recounting the events before, during, and after the accident without speculating. When you feel unsure about the timeline and the details, mention it to the police. Sometimes you’ll have no apparent pains or injuries, and you are immediately questioned. If police officers ask about your health, don’t assume that you’re okay because you don’t feel anything wrong at the moment. Bear in mind that injuries incurred during car crashes can surface hours later and not immediately. Stating for sure that you’re not hurt without getting diagnosed by an expert can be detrimental to any case you’ll want to file or compensation you’ll want to claim.
Contact Key Personnel
It doesn’t matter which side of the accident you’re involved in. If the truck that collided with a civilian vehicle in the District of Columbia is yours, get in touch with trucking attorneys right away. Just because you’re the bigger vehicle doesn’t mean you’re always at fault. Get your rights protected by having attorneys step in early in the investigation. There’s a statute of limitations for filing cases, and you need to get yours litigated in a specific time frame after the incident for it to be accepted by any court. Your attorney will also want to move quickly to obtain witness accounts and evidence in favor of you.
If you have insurance, call them as soon as possible, too. You’ll want to consult with your lawyer first, however, to guarantee that you’re getting the best compensation and treatment under the circumstances.
Always Get Diagnosed by a Professional
Believe it or not, your injuries may not count in court if you have yourself diagnosed days after the accident. This is because they may have been incurred in activities done after the crash, making them irrelevant to the case. Apart from legal issues, skipping the ER could worsen any internal trauma that doesn’t show alarming symptoms. A full check-up right after the crash will enable medical professionals to give you the care you need to prevent irreversible damage and even death.
Document It Yourself
Compiling all accident-related photos, documents, and reports for reference is always a good idea. You should have your medical records included and the name and contact information of the people involved. Think police officers, witnesses, and other parties directly involved in the crash. Receipts, claim numbers, and other information about your attorney and insurance adjuster have to make it to your compilation, too. Getting organized places you in a better position to go to court and make statements in your favor.
It’s Never Easy
The horrors of a fatal car crash can be traumatic. Get responsible loved ones involved to support you in your personal and legal journey. It’s never easy no matter how responsibly you handle your case, but rest assured that the right efforts will get you the justice you deserve.