Being involved in a car accident is an upsetting situation to find yourself in, regardless of who is at fault. Whether you’re in a fender bender or a more serious crash, the initial shock will wear off and once that has happened there are 5 important things you need to do as soon as possible.
Stop Your Car
As soon as the initial shock has worn off you need to make sure your vehicle is at a complete stop. Switch your hazard lights on to warn other road users. If you are not hurt, you may now climb out of your car to assess the damage and see if anyone has been hurt.
Stay at The Scene
If possible, move any cars that are disrupting the flow of traffic. Before you move the cars, you need to document their position on the road first so take photographs if you can, otherwise clearly mark the road with either chalk or spray paint if anybody has any on hand. If you cannot move any of the vehicles, then you need to call a reliable towing service to come in and assist.
You must get the details of everyone involved in the car accident, including personal details and detailed vehicle information. Take photographs of any landmarks or road names and your surrounding location. Make a note of the intersections and traffic lights.
You need to do this even if the accident was not your fault, if you need to call a lawyer then now is the time to do so. You can also trade insurance details with the other involved parties. Try to avoid discussing fault when you’re going over the facts of the accidents with the other driver/s, once an insurance claim has been filed the adjuster with review the claim and they will determine who is at fault based on the facts and evidence provided.
Once it is safe to do so, you need to call for help if anyone needs it. Call the emergency services because regardless of whether it is a minor accident or a major collision, calling the police is vital. In some states, it is legally required. The responding police officers and emergency workers will arrive and fill out an accident report to properly document the scene. If the police are unable to come to the accident location, then you can go to the nearest station and request an accident report from there.
Report the Accident
Once you have reported the car accident to the police and you have finished at the scene, you can now report the accident to your insurance company. If you like, you can do this part when you are safely at home and you have calmed down. Have a trusted friend or relative pick you up and take you home if you are uninjured and don’t need to go to the hospital. Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital to get checked out, often the adrenalin pumping through your veins after an accident can mask the symptoms of an injury.