Car accidents are every driver’s worst dream. Although you do your best to drive responsibly and defensively, it’s still smart to know what to do just in case you end up in a collision. What should you do if you’re in a car accident? Here are some tips to help you make it through the minutes immediately following a collision.
Stay in your car and stay calm. It’s normal to feel shock, guilt, fear and anger. Take a few deep breaths to calm down. The calmer you are, the better you’ll handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one. Call the police and report the car accident.
Think about your safety and those around you before thinking about insurance. Check on all drivers and passengers. Before assessing property damage, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. If there are injuries, call for an ambulance right away.
Keep safe. If it’s safe to do so and you aren’t seriously injured, move your car out of further harm’s way, like a side of the road or parking lot. If you can’t move your car or can’t get out, keep your seatbelt fastened and turn on your hazards to warn other drivers that your car isn’t going anywhere.
Don’t accept or place blame. Avoid discussing fault when going over the facts with the other driver. Only speak with your lawyer and the police about the details of the accident.
Exchange information with the other driver. This includes the driver and passengers names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance info.
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Get a copy of the accident report. Make sure this police report includes the officer’s name and contact information. The officer’s report will be useful if the accident goes to court.
Document the accident. Write down the location of the accident, a description of the vehicles such as make, model, and color.Take photos of the scene, including the vehicles and any damage, the roads, traffic signs, and the direction each vehicle was traveling.
If there were any witnesses, try to get their names and contact information. It’s good to know someone can speak up for you in case of a dispute.
Call your insurance agent. The sooner your agent is aware of your accident, the sooner they can begin the claim process.