Getting into an auto accident is something nobody wants to go through. However, things do happen and it’s important to be prepared if they do. You may not feel rational if you get into an accident. You may feel emotional, scared or even ready to panic. Take some time to learn the steps below so you can feel more prepared in case you end up in this unfortunate situation like auto accidents.
Check to See If Everyone is Okay
Safety is your number one priority when you get into an accident. You need to check on everyone in the vehicle. Make sure no one is hurt, and if they are, be sure to call 911 immediately. If someone isn’t very coherent or responsive, groggy, or otherwise mentally off call 911. Many injuries can be internal.
If everyone seems to be okay, try to get everyone out of the vehicle and to safety immediately. Move to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.
You may feel emotional about the accident. You may begin to panic if someone is injured, or even if you’re injured, but it’s important that you stay calm. You might also feel angry if the accident wasn’t your fault. This won’t help anything, You need to be able to converse with the other driver calmly so you can get the information you need from them.
Call the Police
Once everyone is safe, if you haven’t already called 911, call the police. Even if the accident is minor, you need to file an accident report. You will need to provide them your driver’s license, your vehicle registration card, evidence that you are responsible financially for the vehicle, and your current address, if it differs from the one on your driver’s license.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
While waiting for the police to arrive, get the other driver’s insurance and personal information. You want to write down their name, address, phone number, make and model of their car, license plate number, and insurance carrier and policy number.
Don’t Take the Blame
For your own protection, don’t admit that the accident was your fault. Even if it was your fault, and no matter how emotional you feel, admitting fault may make things a lot harder for you down the line. Keep the conversation with the other driver minimal, and let the insurance companies determine who is at fault.
Take Photos and Notes
You may think that you won’t forget what just happened, but don’t take the chance. Take pictures of the accident and write down as many notes about the incident as you can. The pictures can be taken with your smartphone, but it also doesn’t hurt to have a camera in your glovebox. Even if it’s a disposable camera, it will help document evidence of the accident.
Visit Your Doctor
If you didn’t immediately get medical attention, you might want to consider visiting your doctor to make sure you are okay. Many injuries are internal, and sometimes symptoms show up later on. Car accidents generate a lot of force, and you might have soft tissue damage. Whiplash is probably the most common form of soft tissue damage from a car accident. Concussions are also possible. Any symptoms, no matter how mild, you be evaluated by a medical professional.
HeuserLaw.com states that the insurance company might actually try to say your injuries aren’t from the accident if you wait too long. This means it is important to go to the hospital or doctor as soon as you experience any symptoms.
Recovering and Moving On
Knowing these steps can help you remain calm and feel in control if you are ever in an accident, but remember that you may need to remain flexible, as every situation is a little different. Ultimately, it’s important that the paperwork is filed and everyone recovers in the end. People’s lives come before anything.