February 28, 2017
Let a personal injury lawyer, like Paul Padda, help you handle car accidents properly. After an accident, emotions are going to be running high. Unfortunately, these emotions will get in the way of what is often very serious and important work. Police need to come make a report. Medical personnel may be needed to treat or evacuate the wounded. The wreckage will need to be removed to make the road safe again for others.
If someone is agitated, these activities will not be done with the proper urgency. You will need to find ways to calm the person down — or work around their anger and hysteria so that you can still accomplish the most important tasks, such as calling a car accident lawyer to respond to your case.
In that light, here are seven tips for managing upset or hostile people after an accident:
Ask Them About their Health Status
When people are being agitated, it can be easy to think only of how their behavior is affecting you. In accident situation, you will have to fight this urge. The angry person may be seriously injured or at the very least, traumatized.
Make sure to look past their behavior so you can stabilize their condition any way you can before medical personnel arrives. If possible, offer them water, a blanket, snacks or a stick of gum to keep calm them. Ask them questions about their symptoms and their current status. If you can keep them focused on themselves, they may get distracted from their confrontational behavior and begin to calm down.
Call the Police Immediately After You Know Everyone Is Safe
Police officers have the training and experience to handle the aftermath of a crash scene. They will be able to assume control and direct people at the accident to keep everyone safe. If someone is being threatening, the police officer can help calm them down — or, in extreme cases, restrain them.
As soon as you ask everyone about their health status and are sure that everyone is in a place removed from immediate danger, call 911 so they can dispatch an officer immediately. If someone is threatening you with violence, you will need to call the police before taking any other action.
Remember That You Have Several Important Jobs to Do
One key to managing crisis situations is to stay goal-oriented. Our own emotions or tendency to get distracted can work against us as we try to get critical tasks done.
Stay goal-oriented and focused. If someone wants to argue with you about who ran a stop light, keep telling them and yourself that such a conversation can wait until everyone is safe and the police arrive. Staying mentally focused can also help you manage your own emotions as adrenaline works itself out of your body.
Keep Your Own Emotions in Check
In a lot of confrontational situations, we later realize that we were pushing back against the other side even though at the time it felt like we were the calm one. Make sure that you can be the calm one so that the situation doesn’t needlessly escalate. If you catch yourself getting angry or hysterical, give yourself five deep breaths and 12 seconds without talking to calm your nerves.
Know That the Other Person Does Not Have the Right to Be Abusive or Make You Feel Unsafe
Even if you do start to feel guilty about the difficult person’s pain and suffering, remember that any fault you did contribute does not give them legal permission to berate, insult or threaten you. No laws make it acceptable for them to retaliate with violence, unless it is in pure self-defense.
Do Not Engage Them in Discussions of Blame
It is in every person’s best interest to not discuss alleged causes of the accident. Even if they objectively feel you are at fault, tell them that they should discuss their side of the story with police, since you are not going to comment on the situation.
Similarly, if your story places the upset person at fault, recount it to the responding officer only. If you are going to interview eyewitnesses, have them make their comments out of earshot.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident or attacked by someone following an accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and suffering. Contact a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas today to discuss your options moving forward and the best way to strategize your case.