Accident Law
Are You An Accident Victim? Here’s What You Need To Know

Are You An Accident Victim? Here’s What You Need To Know

An accident is, by its very definition, a calamity you could never have predicted. It happens fast, often leaving its victims shaken, confused, and sometimes injured. But the time after an accident is the most critical period; therefore, knowing how to respond correctly is of utmost importance.

Regardless of how careful you are as a driver, accidents can happen to anyone at any time. According to the NHTSA, nearly 2 million injuries and more than 30,000 deaths occur from roadside crashes in the U.S. alone. Both big cities like Clarksville and small towns like Tullahoma are equally prone to them. And while these collisions can be scary on their own, not knowing how to act in such situations can further worsen them.

Fortunately, you can still do something about it. By arming yourself with the following tips and information, you can minimize risk in case you ever become a victim of an accident.

1. Know who to call

Right after an accident, pull over your car to the side and call emergency services. Tell them your name, location, number, and details of the incident. Inform them about any injuries or casualties you know of to ensure their quick response. Also, call the police and report the accident.

You must also contact an attorney who can handle the legal repercussions. Since laws can vary from state to state, you must know who to call depending on where you live.

For instance, if you’re a resident in Clarksville, search online car accident lawyer Clarksville near me and find the contact details for the best accident lawyers in town. You never know when you might need a lawyer.

After an accident, you’ll be in no condition to search for these numbers, so it’s best to prepare a list beforehand and know who to call in such an event.

2. Safety considerations

Even if your car has pulled to a stop after a collision, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe yet. To ensure no one else gets harmed, turn your hazard lights on to warn oncoming traffic and make the accident scene visible. Check for leaking fuel or any disturbing noises that may indicate a potential danger or risk of fire. Don’t try to eliminate the problem yourself. Instead, keep yourself and everyone else at a safe distance from the vehicle to prevent any serious injuries or casualties. If you’re not suffering from any injury, remove any large objects or blockades from the road so emergency services can easily reach you. Most importantly, don’t, under any circumstances, smoke near a car that’s just been through an accident.

3. Seek medical attention

Once you’re out of danger, thoroughly check yourself to assess any harm or injury you may have incurred. Even if it seems like a minor cut, seek medical attention, and don’t move until a paramedic gives you the green signal. If you have any allergies or other health concerns, communicate them to the EMTs as clearly as possible. You might want to keep a list of your medical conditions or whatever medications you take in your wallet. This way, emergency services can still access that information even if you’re incoherent. Once you’re sure about your safety, determine whether anyone else got hurt and help them seek medical care as soon as possible.

4. Document the accident

Since the time right before and after an accident is most critical, you must take every precaution to collect the maximum amount of information. Regardless of how quickly you call the police, it will still take a couple of minutes for them to get to the scene. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling normal, start documenting the accident’s how, where, when, and why. No detail is futile, and the more evidence you collect, the better your chances of claiming insurance and not getting tangled up in litigation. For example, if there’s a missing or damaged road sign, make a note of that—or better yet, take pictures. Also, mention driving conditions like if it was raining, snowing, etc.

5. Exchange information

If other vehicles or people got involved in the accident, gather information such as the driver’s name, address, license number, contact information, and vehicle registration number. Note down the names and contact information of witnesses present at the scene in case the local authorities or your lawyer later asks for them. However, if your car crashed into a parked vehicle, leave your contact details at the accident site so the driver can contact you.

It’s important to remember that tempers often tend to run rampant during roadside accidents. When gathering information, keep calm and don’t make any threats to other people involved in the incident. The more relaxed you are, the easier it’ll be to handle the situation.

6. Notify your insurance company

Although you might wish to deal in cash and avoid making an insurance claim, it’s best to avoid this practice. Most people believe that insurance companies will only cover damages if you’re a victim and blameless. But regardless of who’s at fault, your insurance plan will likely provide you coverage for the accident. If you don’t inform your insurers, you may be liable to pay for damages from the accident, with potential repairs quickly hitting sky-high.

Besides informing them of the accident, you must also cooperate with your car insurance company and provide whatever evidence they need. However, suppose you feel they wrongfully deny your claim. In that case, you have the right to seek legal assistance and determine the best course of action.

7. Adopt a proactive approach

You must keep careful records of all receipts and bills you paid after the accident. Whether it’s medical treatment, car repairs, or other expenses—keep copies of every transaction. While you might not plan on filing a claim at the moment, you may later change your mind. Your lawyer or insurance company may also ask for evidence of accident-related damages to support your claim. If you have any exchanges with the other driver or witnesses, save records of these conversations.

Besides preparing for the legal repercussions, you might want to implement a few safety precautions in your daily lifestyle. Although accidents occur without warning, preparing for the worst by doing the following can still minimize damage:

  • always wear a seatbelt
  • keep your car clutter-free
  • ensure proper headrest height
  • avoid driving in poor weather conditions


As an accident victim, feeling scared and overwhelmed is typical as everything feels out of control. But, by training yourself on how to handle the situation and what steps to take next, you can avoid panicking and making the wrong mistakes. Keep a list of emergency contacts on you at all times, and follow these tips to prevent a bad situation from worsening.

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