With over 6 million car accidents around the U.S every year it is not strange to have contemplated whether or not you’ll be in a car accident at some point. This may be a source of stress for you, and one thing you can do that can help is to have a plan of action in case of an accident.
Although every case will be different, the following are steps that should take if you’ve been in a vehicle accident:
1. Stop and Check Yourself for Injuries
The first step is to stop. You should never drive away from the scene of an accident. If your car is functional, you can try and pull over to the shoulder. Try to stay calm and check yourself and other passengers in your car for injuries. Ask for help and try not to move, this can be a little hard to do, but waiting for emergency personnel is the most important.
2. Call 911
Accidents can range from a minor fender bender to a major collision. No matter how severe the accident is, calling the police is essential. They will investigate, ensure that everyone is alright, and help to deviate traffic. Also, you may need a police report to start the claims process with your insurance company.
3. Protect Yourself, Others, and the Scene
Next, you should set up flares or turn your flashers on. By doing so, you will protect yourself and others from further accidents. Also, if you are not too hurt and can do so, check on the passengers in the other car.
4. Make an Accurate Record and Document the Accident
This is also something very important to do, you have to be sure you don’t speculate or guess any of the accident details when telling it to the investigating officers. You could also document the accident by taking pictures, recording videos, or recording voice notes on your cell phone.
5. Exchange Information
You should obtain the personal data of the other driver involved in the accident, information such as name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, plate number, type color and model of vehicle, and location of accident among others.
6. Keep a File
Keeping all the accident-related information and documents in the same place is a good idea. You should keep the pictures that you have taken, the name and badge number of all responding officers, the information you exchange with the other driver, and the names and contact information of the witnesses.
7. Start the Legal Process
Probably one of the most important steps is consulting your accident attorney. He can help you to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Also, you may call your insurance provider while you are at the accident scene to start the claim process.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants to get in a car accident, however, it can happen and it’s wise if you know exactly what to do in those cases. Remember the importance of keeping yourself and others safe; material things can be repaired but your life is the most important.