There are millions of car accidents each year. Although many people find that they have a clear head while driving, being in an accident can cause them to be unable to think through the next steps. It’s important to be prepared for every scenario, so this is what you need to do in case of a car accident.
- Stop and protect the scene
Never drive away from an accident, whether its major or minor. This can cause fines or even criminal charges, hence you might need a car accident lawyer. You’re going to be at the scene for some time to prevent any further accidents, by setting up flares or putting on your flashers. Do this promptly before moving onto any other steps.
- Call the police
If you or anyone in the other vehicle has had an injury from the accident, then you’ll want to call an ambulance immediately. However, if there are no severe injuries, you’ll still want to call the police. You may need the police report to place a claim with your insurance. Keep the cars in their current location unless they are blocking traffic and can be safely moved.
- Make a record
When the police arrive at the scene, ensure that you tell them exactly what happened as you remember it. If you’re not sure of the exact facts, say so to the office. Don’t speculate, guess, or falsify anything that you say. If the other person in the accident is telling their story, make sure that his or her statements are true. You can tell the officer calmly if anything the other person has said is false.
- Take pictures
If you have a camera or you have a phone that’s equipped with a camera, photograph both vehicles. This step is especially important if your car or the other car has significant damage. If any visible injuries are present, you may want to take photos of them as well, if you can do it safely. Make sure to save them for a car accident lawyer. Make sure that you don’t interfere with the police investigation, so take pictures before they arrive or promptly after they’ve concluded their investigation.
- Exchange insurance information
The investigating police officer will usually obtain this information. However, in rare cases, the police may not respond. This means that you should take down the address, names, and phone numbers of any other people involved in the accident. You’ll want to provide this info to them as well. Even if they weren’t driving, make sure to exchange copies of your insurance card, or even write down the information before leaving.
- Report the accident
After the accident occurs, make sure that you notify the insurance company promptly. Some policies require immediate reporting. This is vital, especially if you have any injuries, as some car insurance plans may cover medical bills related to accidents.
Finally, make sure that you keep good records of the accident until you reach a settlement, and the case is closed. This process can take some time
if it’s an involved or severe accident. Use these steps to ensure that you follow the law after you’ve had an accident.