No one wants to consider what happens if they were to get into a collision. The idea of getting into an accident that could put you or your loved ones at risk is one we’d rather avoid. But, unfortunately, the odds are against you.
You’ll likely be involved in a few auto accidents in your lifetime. The severity of them will vary, but the facts remain. If you drive, you will be in a collision at some point. Pointing this fact out isn’t to create fear. It does, however, give you a good idea about how important it is that you know what steps to take if an accident does happen.
Here are the 7 crucial steps you should take after a car accident to prepare yourself for the future.
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First things first. Stop your vehicle. It may sound too straightforward to mention. But driving away from a collision, whether it resulted in injury or not, is illegal. And it could see you facing some harsh consequences. So stop your car, turn off the engine, and turn on your hazards to make other vehicles aware.
If possible, move your car out of the way or to the side of the road. If not, get out of the car and leave your hazard lights on. Staying in the car can put you at risk of further injury if other vehicles fail to stop the crash.
Next, check to see if anyone in your car is hurt. If you can make sure to check on the other driver and assess their injuries. Once you have an idea of the damage, call the emergency services. Above all, remain as calm as possible and give plenty of detail on the accident.
If anyone has visible injuries, don’t move them. Unless you have to so you can avoid further damage. If anyone is bleeding, do your best to deal with the wounds. If in doubt, put pressure on and keep it on. It’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit in your car just in case.
You need to notify the police and get it documented in an accident report no matter the collision’s severity. It can take a while for the police to arrive but sit tight. Exchanging information with the other driver and hoping they’ll do the right thing can leave you in a sticky situation.
Waiting for the police means you get all the information needed from the driver. And it ensures that an account of the accident is officially documented.
Now’s the time to get as much information as possible. This means everything from insurance info to details of the car you were in a collision with.
Use your phone to document everything in images. It’s the easiest way to ensure you cover all bases, and you’re less likely to forget things if they’re recorded in an image. It’s important to remember, though, that if you’re injured, don’t put yourself at risk. Documentation can be taken after you’ve been seen to. And if you’ve contacted the authorities, they’ll obtain official records.
Get in touch with your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Delaying getting in touch with your insurance company can result in loss of coverage. Or you could find out the other party’s insurance doesn’t cover the collision.
Make sure to keep notes of everyone you speak to at the company so you can quickly get back in touch with them. You may be required to give a personal account of the crash. It will pay to cooperate with your chosen insurance company.
Be careful of what you say to the other driver. Your conversation should be limited to asking if they’re injured and obtaining the necessary information for your insurance. For everything else, leave it to law enforcement.
Admitting responsibility, making a verbal agreement, or arguing with the other driver can put your insurance claim in jeopardy. And starting a fight will leave you liable to prosecution, even if the crash wasn’t your fault.
Car accidents scams are a real thing. So keep an eye out for any dodgy practices. And don’t hire an attorney that gets in touch with you. Likely, they won’t have your best interests at heart. Instead, hire your own reputable car wreck lawyer. They know what they’re talking about, especially if they’re an old hat regarding car collision law.
And watch out for medical firms who get in touch post-collision. There have been cases of them taking advantage of your vulnerable state. Only work with people you trust and have chosen yourself.