What happens after a car accident?
Certain things always occur after a car accident. Generally speaking, the accident is reported by one of the drivers or witnesses to the accident. In fact, accidents are required to be reported above a certain damage threshold. More importantly, having a law enforcement officer present helps protect everyone involved from decisions being made later based upon inaccurate information. In addition, police officers often obtain evidence above and beyond what an individual driver would be in a position to obtain, and usually come equipped with the right tools to do so. Finally, a police officer is in a good position to perceive information and facts because he or she was not involved in the accident. The physical and emotional stress of being in an accident can be overwhelming. It is not uncommon for cases that go to trial in court after a car accident to involve disputes about important facts. At trial, the drivers are vulnerable to criticism that their memories of the event may be adversely affected by their physical or emotional trauma at the time of the upsetting events. Also, the law generally requires drivers involved in an accident to exchange insurance information. Leaving the scene of an accident without providing contact and insurance information may even constitute the crime of hit-and-run. Whether or not anyone was injured, serious consequences may be imposed for leaving the scene of an accident. Finally, The individuals involved in an accident should evaluate and address any damage done, both damage to property and any physical injuries resulting from the crash. When it comes to property damage, this is most readily done by taking photographs or video. It may be necessary to obtain a tow truck if the vehicles cannot be driven without causing additional damage. Physical injuries should always be evaluated as soon as possible, ideally by paramedics, but with a visit to emergency or urgent care if an immediate assessment is not possible. Victims of a car accident should not assume that they are not seriously injured if they feel only a little pain immediately following the accident. The shock of a traumatic incident often suppresses pain levels in the immediate aftermath of a collision. Also, many injuries may not be immediately evident to the naked eye and new manifestations of tissue damage commonly continue to arise in the hours or days following a collision. For these reasons, the safest bet is to get fully evaluated as soon as possible after a car accident and reevaluated as soon as possible in the event of any new or changing symptoms.
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