Preparing for a crash before it happens

It can be invaluable to know what to do after a crash, as well as to be prepared for an accident ahead of time.

Car accidents are a serious concern for residents of Connecticut, as well as the rest of the country. The University of Connecticut's Crash Data Repository reported more than 100,000 injuries and 1,664 people killed in accidents on Connecticut roads last year.

It is understandable that after a crash, people may not know the proper steps to protect themselves, both physically and legally. The following tips may lessen some of the confusion and stress immediately after a collision, as well as in the weeks to follow.

At the crash scene

Getting angry or panicking might be the first reactions people feel after a car crash. However, cautions GEICO, it is important to remain calm and rational. After an accident, it is advisable for drivers to do the following:

• Move the vehicles out of the road to a safe spot out of traffic, if possible, such as the shoulder.

• Call the police, no matter how small the accident appears.

• Exchange insurance information with those involved in the crash.

• Get pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage.

• Write down the names and contact information of witnesses.

• Limit discussion about the incident to law enforcement and insurance companies.

It is also important never to admit fault. Saying sorry may be interpreted as admitting guilt. Insurance companies and police investigators should be the ones to determine who was at fault.

If someone is hurt

An ambulance should be called if someone appears to be badly injured. Mild injuries may wait until later; however, it is important to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible if the vehicle's occupants feel any pain after an accident. Even a small fender-bender can cause whiplash injuries that may require medical treatment.

Preparation steps

A few simple precautions taken ahead of time may prevent a world of trouble later. In addition to car registration and vehicle insurance cards, it may help to keep copies of medical insurance cards and emergency contact information in the glove compartment. It may also be wise to include a list of any drug allergies and medical conditions, so emergency personnel will know this important information if those in the vehicle are incapacitated from a crash.

Knowledge and preparation can go a long way in providing peace of mind, both before and after an accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Connecticut may be able to help after a crash that resulted in injuries.