There are about six million car accidents every year in the US alone. We hope that you don’t find yourself in a car accident ever. But if you do unfortunately are involved in a car accident that is not your fault, you must know important steps you need to take to cope better with the accident. Following these steps will help ensure your and your co-passengers safety and the safety of the other person involved in the crash. They will also help you with further processes, such as filing an insurance claim or asking for compensation from the other driver by filing a case with a personal injury attorney‘s help. So here’s what you need to do after a car accident.
Pull Over to Safety
The first thing that you should do is pull over your car to the side of the road. Make sure that the place you pull over is safe, nearby, and well-lit. While pulling over, flash your car’s emergency lights to warn oncoming traffic. This will ensure that the traffic slows down and doesn’t result in another accident due to high speed or debris splattered on the road. However, if you can’t get your car to safety, get yourself and others involved in the accident to the side of the road.
Check for injuries
Once you have moved to a safe spot, ensure that no one is seriously injured. Firstly, check for any self-injuries. If you don’t have any major injuries, check on your kids, elderly, or pets traveling with you. If your kids are young enough to be in car seats, let them be there. Please do not remove them from the car seats as they might have unseen injuries that can get aggravated while getting them out of the car.
Call for emergency responders
Whether the accident you are involved in is a major one or just a minor fender-bender, it is necessary to call the police to the accident scene. Call 911 and explain to the responder about your situation. Provide other details like the place of the accident, the severity of the collision, and other details that may be asked of you.
The responding officers need to file an accident report and document the scene. Hence, provide as much detail as you can. It will also help in the future as your insurer may ask for a copy of the police report for processing your insurance claims.
Wait for help
It will take some time before the police or the ambulance arrives at the scene. During this period, you need to stay calm and wait patiently. Talk to your fellow passengers and the other driver. Assure them that everything will be okay and that there is no need to panic.
Additionally, see if you can treat your minor injuries yourself if you or the other driver is carrying a first aid kit with them. This will help reduce the seriousness of the injuries and also reduce the work of the first responders.
In the meantime, you can exchange vital information with the other driver. This will prove helpful in future processes such as filing for an insurance claim. The information that you definitely should exchange include:
- The name of the driver
- Their contact information, such as their personal mobile number or office landline number
- Driver’s license number
- The vehicle model, color, type, and the number plate
- The accident location
Document the incident
Documenting the incident is necessary for multiple reasons. First, the insurance company will try to deny compensation on various grounds. Second, the other driver might try to prove that you were at fault, and he may ask for compensation for the same. Thus, to avoid such situations and get your rightful claim, you must document the accident scene in detail. Here are a few ways to do it.
- Take pictures
Take detailed photographs of every item that can act as evidence later. This includes the damage done to both the cars, which can help prove who was at fault.
- Write down information
Write crucial information such as the police officers’ names on the scene, the other driver and car details, and names and contact numbers of any witnesses.
An accident can bring stress and lead to unclear thinking in the minds of even the most seasoned drivers. However, following the above-mentioned steps will help you stay protected from unnecessary hassle in the future. This way, you can ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and sound and receives the insurance company’s rightful monetary compensation.