Accidents happen all the time in life. But, when they occur while you are driving, there is a lot more at risk than most other situations. Car accidents can be scary, painful, and, in too many cases, fatal.
And, of course, they can be expensive – in more ways than one. Assuming that you are free from any serious injury, there are a few things you should do in the event of an auto collision and accident. Read on for our 7-step guide and make sure you get the best outcome possible.
Image Credit: State Farm
Pull over if you can
If you can, pull over so that your car is out of the road. Onrushing vehicles could plow into the back of you, causing, even more, damage and injuries. It may not be possible – if your car won’t start, for example. But, the sooner you get out of the way, the safer you will be.
Get to a safe place
Next, your safety is everything, and after a car accident is a very dangerous time. It is vital that you get yourself to a safe place, away from the road, It might not be possible, of course – if you have a severe injury, for example. But, if you can move – get out of the car and out of the way. Oncoming vehicles are a genuine threat to your safety – don’t let them make the situation worse.
Image by Jan Tik
Check passengers and other drivers
Once you are safe – and only once you are safe – you can check for the condition of your passengers and any other drivers. You may need to call for medical help – do so if anyone needs emergency attention.
Call the police
It is vital that you call the police or local authorities to inform them of your accident. Not only will it help them put safety measures into place, but it will also prevent any heated exchanges from developing. The quicker the police arrive, the more evidence you will have to strengthen your case in the event of a claim.
Once you call the police, you should exchange details with the other party. Do not accept any responsibility for the crash – just swap contact details and insurance policies. It is not in your interests to start arguing with anyone, and contact should be at a minimum. Any admission of guilt – even by accident – can go against you in a legal challenge.
You should also try and get as much evidence as possible. Take photos, see if there were any witnesses, and write down what happened from your point of view. As any auto accident attorney will tell you, after a crash or accident, it is quite common for people to forget what happened. The more detail you can remember, the stronger your case.
Consider your options
Once you are home, you should think about what to do next. If you are sure the accident was not your fault, it might be worth preparing a claim against the other party. Contact your attorney for some legal advice. You should also file a claim with your insurance company, which will speed things along a little. With any luck, you car may even make it back on the road.
Hope this guide has helped – and that you never have to use it. Stay safe!