Millions of car accidents occur in a year, but luckily most of them only result in property damage and the people involved don’t suffer from any serious injuries.
However, when you get in a car collision, it is important to follow certain steps to ensure you and everyone else involved in the accident are safe and protected in the best way possible.
The following are a few steps and important things to do when you get in an accident, regardless of who might be at fault.
Check yourself for injuries
Depending on the severity of the accident, the first thing you need to do is check if you are injured. If you are injured call on the emergency number without wasting another minute or ask someone around you to do so. If you are seriously injured, make sure to not make any unnecessary movement and wait for the emergency personal or someone to help you.
Check on the passengers
If you are not too hurt and you can move, check on the people who were in the car with you. If anyone of the passengers has suffered a serious injury, you need to again get the emergency services on call immediately or ask a bystander to call for you.
Get to safety
In case you think you are able to move, you need to get to the side of the road or sidewalk. If there are other people with you, make sure to get them to safety as well.
If your car is in a safe condition to drive and it can be a hazard if it stayed where it is on the road then park it to the side of the road. But, if you are not sure, then leave it where it is and get yourself and other passengers to safety.
Call for emergency
You need to call the police whether you think it is a minor mishap or a major collision. The responding officer will report the accident and fill out the necessary documentation to record the scene of the accident.
At times this police’s report turns out to be very helpful later when you are trying to make a claim for the damage to your vehicle.
Wait for the help
Once you have followed through with the above-mentioned steps, there is probably nothing for you to do at this point. Make sure you turn off your engine and turn on the hazard lights to try to warn other vehicles to slow down.
It really depends on the severity of the accident and whether you have the time to do this as your first priority should be your and your passengers’ safety.
After making sure you and other passengers are not injured and you take care of all initial steps, you need to exchange contact and insurance information with the other vehicle’s driver. Here are some important details you must exchange with the other driver.
• Their full name and contact details
• Their insurance company and policy number
• Their driver’s license and vehicle’s license plate number
• The color, type, and model of the other vehicle
• The location of the collision
It is also recommended that you don’t discuss details at the time of the accident like whose’ fault it was. Just exchange the information and you figure more detail later after official the investigation has taken place.
Documenting the accident
In order to make sure you protect yourself and your financial interest, it is necessary that you document the collision and you can do that by following the following steps:
• Get the identification like name and badge number of the responding officers that arrive first to the scene.
• Get a copy of the police officers’ report. You may need it when you are filing for car insurance.
• Take pictures of the collision scene, as well as your car from different angles so they show the damage done to your and the other vehicle. These pictures may help make your insurance claim stronger.
• Take names and contact information of all the passengers in your and other vehicles, as well as the bystanders who witnessed the accident.
Notify your insurance company and start the claiming process
If you think it’s possible you can also call your insurance agent from the accident scene. By doing so, you will be able to provide complete and correct information that you need in order to process your insurance claim.
Otherwise, you can call the agent once you catch a breath after all the emergency inquiries. Make sure to ask him to start the process as soon as possible.
Seek medical attention
No matter how seasoned a driver you might be or even if it’s just a minor fender-bender, a car accident can leave anyone frazzled. Besides, in the case of car accidents, often your injuries don’t immediately become apparent. Most people end up feeling more pain from the injuries a day or two after the collision.
Hence, when you have been in an automobile wreck, regardless of its severity, it is important to consult an expert accident injury doctor as soon as possible.
At times, even a minor accident can cause a permanent injury, which can become a serious problem if you don’t get immediate medical attention. Your doctor will check your reflexes and conduct the necessary tests to ensure you have not suffered from any concussion or other serious injury.
Protect yourself and your rights
Being mindful about what you need to do when you have just been in a car accident can be very difficult. Get out of the immediate shock only takes some time. But the second most important thing to do is to protect your rights after making sure you and everyone else involved in the accident isn’t seriously injured.
Whether it’s consulting your attorney or an accident injury doctor, you want to make sure the collision causes you the minimum possible loss in terms of your physical and mental health and financial loss.