Car accidents are never convenient. They seem to happen so fast and nobody ever feels prepared. The best thing to do is to always have a checklist ingrained in your mind of what to do in case of an accident. You can never be 100% prepared no matter what because every car accident is unexpected and different. All you can do is have these steps in mind just in case an accident occurs.
Check yourself and others for injuries
This step feels like it should go unsaid, but sometimes in the shock of an accident it is difficult to stay alert and realize what just happened. You might feel okay and seem fine, but you could save someone else’s life by immediately checking others in the vehicle before it is too late.
This also goes for other vehicles.If it is a minor accident, you might be fine, but the car that hit you might have more impact. Look towards the other car and make sure everyone is okay. If you are in a remote area, get out of your car and check if you can. Making sure nobody is severely injured is the most important step. If someone is injured, call the police and request an ambulance immediately.
Call the police
You must always call the police during an accident, even if nobody is injured. In some areas, it is legally required and for some it isn’t. Regardless, it will always be your best bet to contact the police. They will fill out an accident report and document a scene. If they can’t come to the scene themselves, then head to the nearest police station and fill out an accident report yourself.
A police’s presence is also good for knowing what to do next. They often can mediate and make sure insurance is figured out as well for both parties. If anything, the police add clarity and preciseness to a hectic time period. They are here to help you and make the process go as smoothly as possible. They also can tell you what they think your next best steps are in your situation depending on if you need your car to get towed etc.
Document the accident
Documentation is important in an accident. It is best to take these matters into your own hands just in case something slips through the cracks. You never know what will be useful down the road. Take photos from every angle with your phone. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information so they can provide testimony in the future if necessary.
Also, when documenting the accident, make sure to get the police information, as well. Document the names and badge numbers of all the officers involved. Make sure to also ask the cops for a copy of the accident report.
Document names addresses and contact information for all parties that were in the vehicles during the accident. This also could be information you need later on.
Once the accident is over, be sure to call a local accident lawyer for support. They can help you work through the next steps. They also will be able to use the information you documented post-accident.
Car accidents are scary and stressful. People sometimes forget what to do when one happens. When these steps aren’t taken, those involved can neglect collecting insurance for the accident or not know who to contact when a question comes up. It is better to be safe than sorry in these situations.