Just Got into an Accident. What Should I Do?
Even if you try to be the best driver on the road, sometimes it is inevitable to end up in an accident. Some areas will be more prone to accidents than others. These black spots are what you want to be aware of in your area. Each time you get to these black spots, you have to take extra caution.
With over 11 million accidents happening per year in the U.S alone, at some point, it is possible to be part of the statistics. Whenever you get into an accident, what you do next is crucial. The worst thing you can do is try to run away from the scene if you are at fault. For more tips, consider reading below what you need to do after getting into an accident
1. Stay at the scene
The moment you get into an accident, the last thing you want is to get away from the scene. Even if it is a minor accident, it is better to stay put until the authorities arrive at the scene.
You should not move the car away from the scene to the roadside. You can only do this after the police have arrived and documented the scene first. Photos might be necessary as part of the accident review.
2. Is it safe to get out of your car?
You do not stop and immediately get out of the car after an accident. Assess the surroundings first before you can get out of the car. The worst can be when you had the accident on an expressway where other cars will be at high speed.
Before getting out of the car, put the car into park and pull the handbrake to keep the car from rolling away. It is also good to turn on the hazard lights, as a way of alerting other drivers to approach the area with caution.
3. Check to see if anyone is hurt
Well, you first start by checking yourself before checking on other people. If you are hurt or someone else at the crash scene, then call for an ambulance and police. Sometimes the occupants of the other car might need help. As much as the cops are always sent to the accident scenes, calling them will help them get to you faster.
4. Take pictures of the accident scene
It is great if you have accurate details of the accident so that you can argue your case better. As a result, take as many pictures of the car accident as possible. These images can be crucial to help determine who was at fault whenever you file for a car insurance claim.
When taking pictures, ensure you get the right shots of the entire scene. The photos need to include the positions of both or several cars involved in the accident. License plates should appear clearly in the images to eliminate any doubt later on.
5. Time to exchange insurance information
At this point, you can now exchange insurance and contact information so that it can be useful to make any follow up later on. The various information that you are likely to exchange are;
- Insurance policy number
- License plate
- Vehicle description
- Vehicle registration information
- The license number of the driver
In case the driver does not have car insurance, the driver’s license number, and any contact details should be ideal.
Even while exchanging this information with each other, refrain from admitting liability. You should let the authorities listen to both sides before deciding who is the at-fault party.
6. Contact your insurer
While still at the scene of the accident, it is best if you call your insurance company. Calling the company will help you eliminate unnecessary hassles when dealing with insurance claims later on. The insurer sometimes can send someone to the scene to document the accident also.
When all of this gets done, call your auto accident lawyer for directions on how to proceed. Yes, you will have to file for a claim at some point. It is best if you have the guidance of the lawyer to do it correctly.