A Complete Guide on What to Do When You Get in a Car Accident
It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: a car accident. As much as we try to be safe on the roads, most people will experience at least one car accident in their lifetimes. This could be a little fender bender or a much more serious collision.
When you get into an accident, it can be hard to think straight. Your body might be in shock, or it might be sending huge amounts of adrenaline. If you haven’t been in the situation before, it can be difficult to figure out what you should do.
That’s why it’s helpful to understand the post-accident procedure before you find yourself behind the wheel. Your next steps are essential when it comes to securing your safety and future well being.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through what do following a car accident.
Do Not Leave The Scene
If you feel fine and your automobiles seem unharmed, you may feel a pressure to keep going on your way. After all, you have a busy schedule and an accident certainly isn’t helping you get through your to-do list.
Firstly, leaving the scene of an accident is not legal. If you leave the scene of an accident where another driver was injured, it’s considered a criminal act.
But even if that’s not the case, you could be putting yourself in a vulnerable situation later on by leaving. It’s essential that you have the accident recorded in a police report.
It’s easy to feel fine and healthy following an accident. Adrenaline pumping from the incident helps to keep our bodies going. It can be hours or even days following an accident before pain and injuries truly reveal themselves.
If you do end up feeling pain following your accident, it will be essential that you have records from the accident before looking for help or compensation.
Ensure The Safety Of Yourself and Others
Before doing anything else, put the safety of yourself and the other drives on your mind. Check yourself for injuries. Once you’ve established that you are okay, check for injuries with the other drivers.
If you or another driver are seriously injured, call 911 immediately for medical assistance. Then try to move as little as possible and let medical responders arrive on the scene.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t try to move an injured person yourself. You have the potential to make the situation worse despite your good intentions.
If no one has sustained injuries, it’s time to ensure things stay that way. As quickly as possible, work to get everyone off the road and to safety. If the vehicles are drivable, move them to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.
The last thing you want is to be hit by another vehicle after avoiding injury in this current accident. Once you’ve pulled off to the side, call the police and wait for them to arrive.
Gather The Necessary Information
Once it’s been established that everyone is fine and safe, it’s time to figure out the logistics of the situation. You’ll need to get the other person’s information as you begin to figure out how the situation will be resolved.
You should attempt to get the other driver’s full name, contact info, their insurance provider, their license plate, and the type, color, and model of their vehicle.
Avoid discussing fault when it comes to the accident. If you apologize for something, even if it’s something simple, you may be admitting to legal liability for the accident.
When the police arrive, they will need to file a report that details the accident. They will likely ask both you and the other driver a number of questions. They will inspect the vehicles, make note of the location, and establish the facts.
This police report will be essential when it comes to establishing fault later on. It’s important to make sure that an officer has as much information as possible. Don’t leave any important details out.
Document The Accident Yourself
A police report can be an essential piece of evidence when it comes to a car accident. But it shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on to establish the facts.
To protect yourself, it’s highly recommended that you work to document the accident yourself. This will help if you need to file any sort of claim.
Take photographs on your phone of both cars from multiple angles. Highlight points of damage and snap a photo of the opposing car’s license just in case. These damage photos will help to determine how much compensation you might be owed.
It’s always a good idea to identify the officer scene and take down all their information, including badge number. If there were witnesses present around the scene of the crime, it can be a huge asset to get their information as well.
If there is any question of fault when it comes to the accident, witness testimony can be huge in clearing things up. Once you have all this evidence in hand, it’s time to notify your insurance company and provide them with the evidence.
It’s best to do this as promptly as possible following an accident.
What To Do After A Car Accident
If you’ve never been in a car accident before, it can be hard to know what the proper procedure is. You may feel shocked, dazed, or even hurt. Understanding the tasks required can help ensure that you remain safe and that your financial future is secured.