Over a million road accidents occur each year in the US. It also means that you are likely to be involved in one, even if you aren’t the one at fault. Sometimes, even the most cautious and observant drivers find themselves in a collision. While there is no way to avoid these accidents, it’s best to be prepared and plan for such emergencies.
Of course, one of the first things is to inform the police, but there are many other things you need to do if you are involved in a car accident. Here is a list to follow that will help defend your privileges and help keep you safe. It can also help you with your insurance claims and to get the compensation you deserve.
1. Maintain Your Calm
Do not panic. When you maintain your calm, it helps you think straight and make smarter decisions. It’s also the best way to prevent new quarrels and conflicts with those involved in the accident. It’s equally vital that you make small talk with the other people or drivers involved in the crash. It eases the process of discussing complexities and determining what steps to take next.
2. Make Sure You Keep the Car Far From Traffic
If the damages to the car are minor, you can move the vehicle towards the side and make sure it isn’t obstructing the traffic movement on the road. In case of a severe collision, where you are unable to move the vehicle to a safe spot, place warning triangles near it and turn on the car’s hazard lights.
3. Do Not Move Anyone With Serious Injuries
Check on all those traveling with you when the accident occurred and ensure they are fine. In case you find that someone is critically injured, do not attempt to move the person unless you believe there is some danger in leaving them at that spot. Call 911 immediately.
4. Call law enforcement and file a report
If you are involved in an accident where you or someone else is grievously injured or of your vehicle is significantly damaged, you are required by law to inform the police. It’s also vital that you be persistent with the police officer at the scene. Tell them courteously that you would like them to give you a written statement. It’s your responsibility to take note of all these details:
- The officer’s name
- Their badge number
- Their phone number
- The police report number
5. Take Detailed Notes and Photos
Write down details of the accident as clearly and vividly as you remember them. Use your cell phone to take multiple photos of the entire accident scene, including the injured people, damaged vehicles, etc. Try to take these pictures before any of the evidence is cleared or the vehicles moved.
6. Exchange Information That Is Essential
Get the name and insurance details of the other driver/s involved in the accident. However, never share any additional information such as your driver’s license number or home address as that can sometimes result in identity theft.
7. Contact Your Insurance Provider to Report a Claim
It isn’t necessary to call your insurance provider from the accident scene itself. However, if there are injuries and /or damages and you need to make a claim, you can contact the insurance company soon as the police arrive at the scene.
Being involved in an accident can be mentally and physically traumatic. It’s never a good idea to take sudden decisions at a time like this. Remain cool, and follow the steps listed above to ensure that you do not have to deal with undue stress while filing claims and dealing with legal modalities.