If you have been called to the scene of an accident or to a hospital because someone you are close to has been injured (or you were a passenger in the vehicle), there are some valuable things you can do to help the person.
At the Scene
If you are able to follow the accident, it would be an excellent idea to take pictures or video of the vehicles with your cell phone or camera, once emergency services have been called and all the injured are being properly cared for.
You should get different angles of the vehicles if possible and record the other driver's license plate number, especially if there is indication that the other driver might try to leave before the police come. Also, take pictures of the scene and surroundings plus pictures of skid marks and other indicators of fault. If there are any witnesses present, get contact information from them.
During the Following Week
Your friend's employer should be contacted as soon as possible, since they may have to get someone to fill in for the person. There may be some work-related protocols that your friend should comply with withiin a certain time frame, so they may need help getting paperwork and filling these out to stay employed and get any benefits they are entitled too.
You may want to pictures of everyone's injuries who were in the vehicle soon after medical treatment. If you are very close to the injured or will be doing caretaking duties, starting a journal of their recovery, any medical visits, medications, treatments, procedures, and other particulars is also a good idea. If you use a loose-leaf binder with folders and a calendar insert, it is easier to keep track of receipts, repair and medical bills, etc.
You can go to the station to get a police report for a small fee, especially if you are a close relative. There's a chance an attorney may have to get it through a discovery process, if the other driver will be involved in a criminal case due to the accident. If the other driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol or was distracted because of cell phone use, this would be a significant factor in a possible liability claim.
If you were unable to go to the scene of the accident, take pictures of your friend's vehicle before it is totaled or repaired.
In the Following Month(s)
Your friend may need some assistance contacting the insurance company and making a claim. It would wise for them for consult a personal injury lawyer like Kuzyk Law promptly, so you may need to help them make an appointment and take them to it. A lawyer will be able to look at the case, have a more accurate idea of what it is worth, and make the process easier.
Finally, you will want to avoid writing about the specifics of the accident or about the person's condition on social media, so your words can't be used to undermine the case.
After the accident:
- Record details of the scene,
- Get the witnesses' names/contact information,
- Help your friend with employment, insurance, and medical matters, and
- Keep records and paperwork together for the ongoing case.
Doing any of these things will be very helpful to your friend, but you could also recruit other friends or family members to help with these things to keep from feeling overwhelmed.