It’s 2:00 PM on a Wednesday, and you just got the phone call from your child that you never wanted to receive. “Mom, I’ve been in a wreck.” You are at work, preparing for your next meeting, and your son is at the beach on spring break. No one really prepares you for times like these—what are the most important things you could tell your child right at this moment?
The most important thing you could tell your child FIRST is—get to safety! Ask your son if his car is in the road and if he can safely move it away from danger. Also—if your son is able to do so, make sure everyone else gets to safety. If he seems shaken up calm him down.
Next questions, “Son, are you hurt?” If your child has suffered any type of injury, he should be medically examined. Now is not the time to be a hero and “tough it out,” even if he was on his way to hang out with his best buds on the beach. You want to be sure that your child is okay, and any injuries will need to be attended to for his sake and documented for purposes of his case.
Instruct your child to then call 911 to report the wreck. Explain to your son that it’s very important that he cooperate with the police when they arrive. While waiting for them to arrive, be patient, and do not admit fault to the other driver or anyone else at the scene of the wreck.
Chances are, if your child has a cell phone, it’s equipped with a camera. If your son is medically okay, tell your son to snap photos of the accident. Later he will need to recall exactly what happened. It’s important that he think about what happened right before the wreck, during the wreck, and immediately after. Tell him to think of everything he can remember—including what he saw, what he heard, and how he felt.
Finally, instruct your child to refrain from posting information about his wreck on social media. No Tweeting, Instagramming, or Facebooking because something they post may be used against them in their case.
If your son’s car is not drive-able, you may need to call a wrecker service for them and arrange for someone to pick them up, or some alternative transportation.
Right after the accident, it is very important that you notify your insurance company that your son has had a wreck and provide them accurate details. You’ll also need to notify the other driver’s insurance. When talking to the other insurance company it’s important that you only give your name, insurance information, and a brief version of what happened. When they ask for more, tell them you will get back with them after you have been able to speak with a personal injury lawyer.
In the days following, it’s extremely important that your son track his injuries and how it affects his life. You should also keep receipts for medical bills, rental cars, and any other expenses caused by the wreck. Keep in mind that your son will also need to go to traffic court. Sometimes a traffic ticket issued at the wreck scene will be dismissed if you do not show up to make sure it is prosecuted.
Finally, find a personal injury lawyer. Not all lawyers represent people who have been injured in a wreck. Find a qualified lawyer who deals with you directly and is willing to try your case if that’s what it takes to fairly compensate you for your losses.
For more information about what to do after a wreck, contact David Blackwell Law for a free copy of my book, No One Wakes Up Wanting a Lawyer. This guide will help you understand: what not to do after a wreck, what you need to do after a wreck, the answers to your wreck questions, steps to take that will help protect you, a full review of the personal injury process, how the advocacy of a lawyer can help you, and mistakes injured people make in dealing with doctors. Give us a call and we’ll send you a copy.