Car accidents can be frustrating, especially if another car hits you. Many times, you and the other driver will disagree on what to do. Should you call the police or handle it by yourselves? Should you move your cars to a safe location or leave them exactly as they were when the accident occurred? What information do you need to get or give to the other driver? These questions can be overwhelming for drivers of all ages, and it is necessary to know what to do.
For this reason, it is important for every driver to know the following five steps to take after a car accident occurs:
- Move cars to a safe location: First, make sure you are not hurt and that your car is okay to drive. If your car is causing a hazard in the road, the police say it is okay to move it out of the way of traffic. Otherwise, if you are already in a safe location, you can leave the car where it is.
- Call the authorities: Once you are in a safe location, call the police. While the other driver may not want to, it is extremely important that you do. Police will make a report that can be critical in an insurance claim. Without this report, the insurance company might not be able to determine who is at fault for the accident.
- Get photos and information: Even if you call the police, it can be important to document everything yourself as well. Take pictures of the other person’s insurance card, driver’s license and license plate. Also, make sure to get the other driver’s phone number and email address, just in case you need to contact them. Additionally, take photos of both cars and any bodily injuries. Even photos of the surrounding area can be useful, including street signs, stop lights and the location the accident occurred.
- Talk to witnesses: If any cars stopped to help you or you notice any bystanders who witnessed the accident, politely ask them to give their description of how the accident occurred. It is very important to get the witnesses’ contact information for future insurance claims or court proceedings. Additionally, if you don’t have a phone to take your photos, ask one of the witnesses if they might be able to help you out.
- Go to the doctor: Finally, after you have finished talking to the police and documenting all the necessary information, you should seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you might have suffered internal injuries. It is important to seek medical attention right after an accident. If a medical issue arises weeks or months after the accident, it can be harder to receive compensation without documented medical records.
You will likely be in some shock after an accident occurs. Preparing yourself for the necessary steps you will need to take could save you time, money and keep you safe if an accident occurs.