Getting into a car accident is scary. Not only does it happen completely unexpectedly, you may not know what to do or how to handle the situation. All at once you have injuries, damage to your vehicle and other people who are experiencing the same.
The scene of the accident, especially, can be overwhelming. Before you know it, there are a lot of people asking a lot of questions and you may not know what to do before you leave the scene.
These are the most important steps you should take after you have been in a car accident.
Call emergency personnel
As soon as possible, call the police to the scene of the accident. If you or others are injured, ask for an ambulance as well.
You will need the police to help you gather information for the police report on the accident. If the accident is minor or the police are unable to come to the scene, be sure to file a police report as soon as possible while you still remember all of the details.
Make the scene safe
The only thing worse than one accident and another accident. It is important to get people and damaged vehicles to the side of the road and out of the way as much as possible. If that is not possible, try to redirect traffic until emergency personnel arrives.
It is easy for details to escape your memory after everything is over. Try to write down as many notes as you can about the road conditions, the scene of the accident, what happened immediately before the crash and any information from other drivers, passengers or witnesses.
Take pictures of vehicle damage and the scene of the accident. Once the vehicles are getting repaired, it may be difficult to get pictures of the damage. The damage can help you establish fault for the accident.
Exchange insurance and contact information with any other drivers involved in the accident. You will need this information to process your accident claim with your insurance.
Seek medical attention
Even if you are not in any pain after the accident, it is still important to see a doctor as soon as possible. It can take several days to start experiencing pain from some soft tissue injuries. Seeing a doctor after your accident can help you begin a treatment plan that will minimize the time you spend recovering from your accident.
A few to-don’ts
In addition to what you should do after an accident, there are t, including:
- Don’t leave until police and other drivers have left
- Do not admit fault
- Do not allow anyone to photograph your license or registration information
- Do not sign any papers (unless directed by the police)