Getting into a car accident can be a stressful affair. As a general rule, these events raise all kinds of important questions.
For example, are you supposed to move your car or wait for the police? What kind of information should you collect from the other driver? When should you file a claim and is that always going to be your best option?
Though this may be a lot to take in, your first priority should be to remain calm. Here is a simple list of things you should do after your accident.
1. Check for Injuries
First things first: make sure you’re good to walk around. In case of a serious injury, don’t move and wait for the ambulance. If you’re not sure whether your injury is serious, call an ambulance anyway.
If you’re not too hurt, check up on everyone else involved in the accident. If there’s a need for it, ask a bystander to contact the emergency services.
2. Get to Safety
Take a quick look at your car. If it’s causing a safety hazard, you’ll need to move it to the side of the road. Of course, only do that if the car is safe to drive.
Once you’ve moved the vehicle out of the harm’s way, don’t forget to turn on the hazard lights. Cones and flares can help you with improving the safety on the road further.
3. Call the Police
After ensuring everyone’s safety, call the police immediately. This is an important part of the process, even if the accident is minor. In some states, calling the police is legally required.
Once the responding officers arrive at the scene, they’ll help establish who’s at fault. Their report can be crucial to the claim process.
4. Exchange Information
In most cases, the police won’t arrive at the scene right away. While you’re waiting, exchange the relevant information with the other driver.
For starters, you’ll need their full name and contact information. Also, get their insurance policy number and the license plate number of their vehicle. Finally, make a note of the vehicle’s type, model, and color.
5. Document the Accident
As a general rule, you should document an automobile accident as best as you can. This includes taking the pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. If there were any witnesses, talk to them and get their names as well.
When the officers arrive, write down their names and badge numbers. While you’re at it, ask them where you can obtain the copy of the accident report.
6. File a Claim
Regardless of the details of the accident, you’ll want to start the claim process immediately. Your first step should be to contact a car accident attorney. They’ll be able to tell you what you’ll need to process your claim.
Finally, don’t tell anyone that you were in fault for the accident. The other party may try to get you to admit fault, which will hurt your claim.
More on Handling a Car Accident
Even the seasoned drivers may struggle with managing a car accident. To protect yourself from unnecessary concerns, follow the steps we’ve outlined above. As long as you stick to the facts, you won’t have much to worry about.
In need of professional advice regarding your car accident? Consider scheduling a free consultation with our law firm!