For most people, nothing is scarier than the thought of being involved in a car accident. Car accidents can cause serious damage to you physically, emotionally, and financially. Knowing how to prepare yourself and what steps to take during and after a car accident is important. There are some things that reduce the risk of further damage or injury. If you, unfortunately, happen to find yourself in a car accident, remember these steps to deal with the situation safely.
Step 1: Check For Injuries
After being involved in an auto accident, you should first assess your physical health as well as any other passengers that might be in the vehicle with you. You’ll want to make sure that everyone is physically okay.
Step 2: Get To A Safe Area
Turn on your hazard lights and if you are able to safely move the vehicle from the line of traffic, do so carefully. The key is to find a safe place to be outside of your vehicle, like the side of the road or a parking lot.
Step 3: Call 911
After any car accident, you will want to call the police or 911. This is a great safety measure, and also there are actually some states that legally require you to do this. Most insurance companies also will most likely want a copy of the police report of the accident as well.
Step 4: Exchange Information
Once everyone is safe, you should exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved the accident. You will want to get the other driver’s full name, their contact information, and their license plate and driver’s license number.
You’ll also want to get the insurance carrier and policy number of the other driver. In addition to the make and model of the car and the location of the accident.
Step 5: Document The Accident
Make sure to accurately and carefully document the accident. Sometimes it can be hard to remember all of the things to look for at the time and ask about when involved in an auto accident. Remember to write down the names and badge numbers of arriving police officers that help you.
If there are witnesses you can ask for their information as well. Also, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of the damage done to all vehicles from different angles. You might need to submit images to help with insurance claims.
Step 6: Notify Your Insurance Company
It’s important to promptly notify your insurance carrier anytime you have an auto accident. The sooner you speak with them and provide the information they need, the smoother and quicker the whole process will be.
Step 7: Take Time Off
Right after an accident, your body is usually full of adrenaline. Sometimes it can take a few days for injuries to become noticeable. People often feel obligated to quickly return back to work, however, you should take time off work to allow your body to fully recuperate. It’s always a good idea to have a medical evaluation anytime you are involved in any type of car accident.
So next time you're involved in a car accident, don't panic, just remember these simple tips to help you get through the situation safely and smoothly.