No driver, regardless of how much experience you have behind the wheel, wants to get into a car accident. However, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, nearly 1.3 million people die every year from a car crash. Since these occur so often, it’s very important you and your loved ones are prepared for car accidents should you ever be involved. The following are tips to help you handle a car accident.
Accidents are not an enjoyable experience, but getting upset or acting out in a fit of rage will only make the situation worse. Regardless of who was at fault, it’s very important you remain calm. Take some time to assess the situation, yourself and anyone else in your vehicle. Then, be sure to try and remain calm as you take the next steps.
Assess the situation.
While your emotions may be getting the best of you, it’s always important to try and assess the situation quickly. Check yourself and anyone else in the vehicle, and do your best to see how the other driver(s) are. If you are injured, it’s a good idea to stay where you are instead of trying to get out of the vehicle. Collect all the information you can, including your location, and use this information for the next step.
Call first responders.
Whether there is a car accident injury or not, calling first responders should be the first thing you do. This way, should anyone need medical attention, it will be dispatched as soon as possible. If an ambulance is not needed, a police officer will be able to assess the situation and fill out the necessary paperwork that is needed for insurance claims. In addition, the police officer will be able to determine who is at fault, and this can be extremely important not only for insurance, but for any additional claims or suits that may take place due to the accident.
It’s necessary you share your information with the other driver(s) involved. This includes name, car type, insurance provider, contact information, and anything else relevant to the accident. This will be useful for insurance claims and any other needs you may have pertaining to the accident. Note that if you allow the police officers to create the accident report, this information should be included on that document. However, it’s never a bad idea to capture the information in more than one place.
Seek medical attention.
Depending on the severity of the accident, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you feel fine, there’s always a chance that your body aches and pains will start the following day. Having a licensed medical professional diagnose and treat you allows you to establish a detailed record of any injuries. If the other driver was at fault, their insurance will likely be responsible for covering your medical bills, so documenting these injuries right away is necessary.
Hire a lawyer.
Not all car accidents must involve legal counsel, but some will. Should you find yourself in the middle of a car accident lawsuit, or even if you’re hurt in a car accident, it’s important to have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. A trusted lawyer can ensure you receive the benefits allotted to you for the accident, whether that includes medical coverage, a monetary settlement, or anything else that’s necessary for you to move forward.
Car accidents are scary, and while so many occur daily, it’s always good to be able to walk away from them. By preparing yourself for how to handle an accident, you can take the necessary steps to ensure the post-accident events are orderly.