The Steps To Take After a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic occurrence, but it’s important to keep your head on your shoulders and take the proper steps in order to minimize the damage from this event. You can’t freak out, get angry, or react emotionally, even if you want to. That will just make the situation worse. Instead you should maintain a calm, level demeanor, and follow the proper procedures for fixing the issue.
The first step that you have take after a car accident is to determine if you or anyone in your vehicle suffered any injuries. Visually inspect everyone, and make sure they don’t show signs of bleeding, or disorientation. That’s especially important for children and the elderly. You should also take a moment to review your own state, as shock from the accident may have set in clouding your ability to determine if you are injured. Once that’s done you should check if the other driver is hurt, and offer assistance if possible.
You also want to try and get the vehicles, and yourself, out of the way of oncoming traffic and to a safe location as quickly as possible. If the car is drivable then you can simply move over to the side of the road. If not then it may be possible to put it in neutral and physically push it aside. If that can’t be done then putting up warning flares, and moving yourself out of the way is your next best option.
Call The Police
If you have a car accident then you have to call the police in order to make a report. They will be able to assist with any injuries, or vehicles that are not able to be moved. They will also investigate the scene in order to determine what happened. When they speak with you, don’t admit to fault. Instead stay casual and try to answer their questions honestly, but without confessing to anything. Later you will be able to acquire a copy of the report they file.
Insurance and Proof
You and the person who was driving the other car will have to exchange insurance information. This will allow the party who is not responsible to file a claim in order to get the damage repaired. It’s also a legal requirement. In addition, you should take photos of both vehicles, and the area, to use as proof in case this becomes a contested issue. If there are witnesses try to get their contact information so that they can be questioned later if needed. If medical treatment is necessary that should be documented as well.
File a Claim
As soon as you are able to leave you should immediately report the accident to your insurance company. You should also give them the other parties insurance information. The faster you act, the more quickly you will be able to file a claim and get compensation for the loss. If the insurance company has questions then you can use the documentation that you acquired to prove what happened to them.