Being in a car accident, even if it’s a minor one, can be a disorienting and overwhelming experience. It’s not something you go through every day, nor it’s something that you look forward to ever happen in your life.
Understandably, it’s hard to keep yourself calm after figuring in a car accident. It might even take some time before you can process what’s really going on. However, it’s vital to be alert and focused on situations like this. Whatever you do and say after a car accident can make or break your claim later on.
Hopefully, you’ll never experience being in a car accident. But, if you do, here are five steps to take following a car accident:
- Check For Any Injuries
Right after a car accident, you need to check yourself for any injuries. If you’re seriously injured, call 911 as soon as possible and try not to move. If you’re not that hurt, you also have to check the wellbeing of the rest of the passengers with you. If anyone of them is injured, call for emergency service, like www.injuredcalltoday.com, and they’ll help you find a doctor for your emergency right away.
In cases where neither of you are badly hurt, it’s still best to call for emergency help or medical attention. More often than not, there’ll be injuries that can’t be felt or won’t be apparent immediately. Even if it’s a minor accident, it can still have a massive impact to your body or your internal organs, and could turn severe if left untreated. So, for your safety, don’t hesitate to contact medical help.
- Pull Your Car To Safety
Car accidents usually happen in the middle of the road, which could cause heavy traffic or pose hazards to other approaching vehicles. If you can, pull your car on the side of the road and call the police right away. It’s best to file a police report once they’re on the scene of the accident, especially if there are major property damages and injuries.
If the car accident happened at night, make sure to turn on your car’s hazard lights so people and other vehicles can see you in the middle of the road immediately. In cases where it’s impossible to move your car, move to a safe place away from the road, but not too far from your car. Remember that you’re not allowed to leave the scene of the accident until the police arrives.
- Check For Damages
As you wait for the police to arrive, you can check the damages around your vehicle. As long as you’re not severely injured, then take your time to do so. It’s best that you take pictures of each damaged part as you can use this as evidence later on. You can also try to take photos of both vehicles’ last positions after the accident if they haven’t been moved. This can be very helpful for police investigation.
- Exchange Information With The Other Party Involved
After checking your passengers’ welfare and the damage to your vehicle, exchange contact information with the other driver. Some of the essential information you must collect includes:
- Driver’s full name and contact information
- Insurance company
- Driver’s vehicle model, color, and plate number
- Driver’s license
You can also gather other useful information from the witnesses present during the accident. Make sure that you also keep track of the date, time, and exact location of the accident. One thing you must never do with the other driver after a car accident is discussing who’s at fault. Avoid spurting out any statements in which you claim responsibility for the accident if no investigations have been done yet. Apologizing can ruin your claim and can be used against you.
- Call Your Insurance Company and File A Claim
While you and the other driver are still at the scene, it’s best to call your insurance agent to be present. That way, they can give you proper instructions on what you should do so you can process your claim. After all, your car insurance is there to protect you financially during vehicular accidents.
With that said, expect that they’ll ask you for any statement, as well as collect information and documentation to strengthen your claim. They’ll also assign an adjuster for your case as they’ll be the ones who’ll negotiate how much the insurer must pay for your claim.
The Bottom Line
A car accident can still leave even the most skillful driver overwhelmed and confused. Following the steps above can guide you in making the right decisions and protect you from any disadvantages. The critical thing to remember is to remain calm, work with your insurance company, and let them guide you throughout the whole process. Soon enough, you can recover from your injuries and have your vehicle fixed smoothly and quickly.