When you get into an accident, the first course of action is to stay calm. The things you do right after determines how the event will affect you. Panicking leads to actions that put you and other people at risk of getting injured, if you haven’t been already, or not getting the help you need.
The U.S. has an average of six million car-related accidents a year. If you find yourself involved in a collision, whether it’s minor (fender bender) or major (pileup), there are things to do to keep the situation under control.
A Guide on How to Handle a Car Accident
It’s often difficult to determine what or who caused the accident right after. Aside from the parties directly involved, there are other factors to consider, such as weather conditions, pedestrians, and road conditions. The following steps serve to keep the situation under control and make sure everyone gets their due after.
Step 1: Stop.
The worst thing you can do after a car accident is to drive away. This will lead to legal problems for you in the future. When you are involved in a car accident, stop and pull your vehicle to the side. Turn on your flashers to inform passers-by and to prevent further accidents.
Safety Tip: Check yourself for any injuries before doing the same for your passengers. Some injuries won’t reveal themselves immediately, so visit the doctor after to get yourself checked.
Step 2: Call the police.
Call the police even if there are no severe injuries. A crowd might gather after the accident, and you will need the authorities to keep them from interfering or compromising the scene. The police can also redirect traffic in cases where the vehicles involved in the accident can’t be moved to the side of the road. In addition to these, you will need a police report on insurance and personal injury claims.
Step 3: Exchange information.
Whether you called the police or not, you will need to exchange personal information with the other party. Make sure to get their name, address, and contact number. Do the same for passengers and anyone else who was involved in the accident.
If you find yourself or one of your passengers with a concussion or a spinal cord injury, your lawyer will use the information to contact the other party. When it has been proven that they caused the accident, you can ask them for compensation for your injuries.
Step 4: Keep a file.
Once you’re back home, make sure to keep all the information and documents about the accident in a single file. It will make it easier to file for an insurance claim on your vehicle’s damage.
Step 5: Talk to the necessary people.
Contact your insurance provider to discuss the incident and the next course of action. Additionally, consult with your lawyer to determine if there is anything that you will need to do to protect your rights.
Even the most seasoned driver can get into an accident. It’s what you do after that will matter. Following these steps will help you avoid unnecessary problems and protect your rights.