Snow-covered hills and mountains, cold clean fresh air, and the holidays are just a few things that make winter a beautiful time of year. However, it’s also when we see a surge in car crashes. There can be several reasons for this, but the obvious is due to slippery wet, icy roads, heavy rainfall resulting in poor traction and visibility, and stressed holiday shoppers. To make matters worse, there is no shortage of distracted drivers.
With all these factors working against you, it is usually just a matter of time before a person gets slammed into or inadvertently does the slamming. So, just in case you experience the misfortune of a car crash, the following is an easy to follow 10 – step guide on what to do immediately following a car crash.
10-Step Guide On What To Do In A Winter Crash:
- Stay Calm. It is very important to keep your emotions under control in order to make good decisions and not to put yourself or your passengers in more harm than necessary. If your emotions run out of control, it will be very difficult to reign them back in, and things can quickly go from bad to worse.
- Determine if there is a need to call 911. If in doubt, call 911. It is always good to first tell your side of the story to the police so an accurate policy report can be made. It is also important to get checked out at the scene whether you think your injured or not, because oftentimes the adrenaline can mask injuries. Emergency crews can better asses whether you need to be taken to the ER.
- Determine if it is safe to exit the vehicle. Refrain from jumping out of the vehicle too fast. If you are in shock you may not realize how badly you are injured and further damage can occur. You also do not want to risk being hit by another vehicle once outside of the car.
- Assist other injured passengers. If you are physically able, check on other passengers and make sure they are coherent, stabilized and comfortable. Refrain from moving passengers if you notice any type of significant injuries. Keep badly injured passengers alert and comfortable until emergency personnel arrive on the scene.
- Collect Demographic Information. Information such as date, time, location, names of other drivers involved, names of other passengers, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, other vehicle make, model and year.
- Collect Insurance Information. Information such as company name, policy number, phone number, insured’s name and insured’s date of birth.
- Collect Witness Information. Information such as names, contact information and a brief written description of what they saw.
- Take Photos. Start with a general overview photo of the scene and vehicles involved. Then move in closer and take photos with more detail. Make sure in the photos that the damage and the license plate can be matched to the corresponding vehicle. Also, take photos of road design, intersections, and street signs and signals. If the vehicles were moved prior to the taking of photos, take photos of approximately where the vehicles ended prior to them being moved.
- Report Crash To Your Insurance Company. With regards to the crash, just report the facts and leave the guessing and speculation out of it. If you think you are injured or not, it is recommended to not go into detail and just let them know you are going to get checked out by a doctor. If you tell the insurance company you feel fine but then 3 days later you start to notice pain, they will naturally question whether your pain is from the car collision or not. Remember, if you leave them loopholes to get out of paying on an injury claim, they will most certainly use them.
- GET CHECKED OUT FOR INJURIES. Whether you think you are injured or not, it is advisable to seek out a qualified doctor that understands and appreciates the complexity and vast scope of auto collision injuries. It’s highly recommended to find a doctor that holds additional education in these types of injuries, as it is not specifically addressed in the traditional doctor school curriculum. A good resource is srisd.com. There are many advantages to getting checked out as soon as possible, but one is that the sooner any injuries are diagnosed and treated the better chances of experiencing a full recovery.
Now What? Contact a Chiropractor That Specializes in Personal Injury.
Unfortunately, you cannot control other drivers on the road. No matter how careful you are, you may one day still end up in an accident due to careless acts of others. If you are injured in a winter car crash, make sure to contact a chiropractor that specializes in PIP.