It always pays to be prepared in the event that an accident transpires in order to help mitigate any injuries or legal ramifications you may be faced with.

There’s an old saying: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

No one knows how, when, or why an accident will occur while you’re behind the wheel of an automobile – which is why they’re known as “accidents” – so it always pays to be prepared in the event that one transpires in order to help mitigate any injuries or legal ramifications you may be faced with.

To that end, Long Island lawyers recommend that you keep always a wide variety of equipment in your car so that if you do find yourself in the stressful and chaotic position of having been in an accident, you are able to deal with any immediate medical needs that may arise, have the ability to properly document the situation for legal purposes, and possess the means to communicate with emergency personnel and legal representation. After all, when help is minutes away, every second counts.

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been in an accident, you should have the ability to get in touch with the authorities for assistance, as well as having the means to capture photographic evidence of the scene and potentially contact an attorney if one is warranted. The one vital piece of equipment that you can use to handle all of those needs is a fully-charged mobile phone; with it, you can call 911, take pictures of the accident scene, and get in touch with anyone else that may be needed in a crisis.

However, a mobile phone is only useful if it actually has power, so keeping a portable charger or a power bank in your car is vital to ensuring that your device is available when and if you need it. It’s also equally important to make sure that you have all your emergency contacts listed not only on your phone, but in a physical notebook as well in the event that your phone is damaged or fails in some way. Emergency contacts would include family members, your insurance provider, and your attorney.

Additional gear that you should keep in your car centers around the possibility that the accident you were involved in has taken place at night or in low-light conditions. This would include a flashlight with extra batteries and reflective safety vests to make yourself visible to other drivers on the road. To that end, it is also important to have road flares, reflective warning triangles, and other items that can alert your fellow motorists to your presence, and it is important to set them up quickly to create a safe perimeter around the accident scene until emergency personnel arrive.

Also, in the event of injury, a comprehensive first aid kit is a must-have for any vehicle so that you are able to provide treatment to any party who has sustained harm until first responders arrive on the scene. Any first aid kit worth its salt would include bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, and pain relievers.

Once the most immediate concerns arising from the accident have been addressed to the best of your ability before help arrives, an unfortunate reality of any accident is that you need to make sure that your legal needs are covered as well. With that being the case, once you are able, any person involved of an accident should begin documenting the scene and gathering information in the event of insurance claims or possible legal actions. Use the camera on your smartphone to take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, as well as the accident site and any relevant road signs or conditions. If the time comes that you have to address the legal ramifications of the accident, having this information will serve as valuable evidence supporting your account of what happened during the incident.

However, as stated earlier in this article, you shouldn’t rely solely on technology for your information gathering purposes; a notepad and a pen can be simple yet very effective tools for quickly jotting down any pertinent information to the situation at hand, such as the date, time, location, weather conditions, and any other circumstances that may have played a part in the accident. You should also collect contact and insurance information from the other parties involved in the accident, as well as statements from any potential witnesses.

If you really want to go the extra mile, creating a pre-prepared form or template and printing it out to keep in your glove compartment can streamline the information gathering process at a time when stress and adrenaline may cause you to overlook critically important details. Emergency contact information cards can also be an important tool to keep on-hand in case you are unable to verbally communicate with first responders. These cards should include your name, emergency contacts, known allergies or medical conditions, your personal doctor or preferred hospital, and any other important information that you would need to share.

Obviously, no one wants to get into an accident, but you can always do your best to mitigate the aftermath of one by being properly prepared for every contingency.

Have you or someone you know recently been in an accident? Contact the accident attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at 866-878-6774 now or fill out our simple form for a free consultation.


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