Any car accident—from a head-on collision to the most innocent of fender benders—can agitate anybody. Sometimes, the stress of a collision makes people act rashly, act without thinking about what to do. Here are the essential courses of action to take after an accident:
First off, right after a collision, make sure you’re alright, then check on the other people involved. In the case of a minor accident, you should pull off to the side and park the car, applying the emergency brake. If you find yourself in a severe crash, park your car, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911. If you’re incapacitated or unable to get out of traffic, you should stay in the car.
Call the Police
Anybody in a crash should call the police immediately, no exceptions. Most importantly, somebody may be hurt and need prompt medical attention, or you might need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured drivers also pose a threat. You never know if the driver’s insurance is up to date or even real. If you collide with one of these drivers and fail to make a police report, you find yourself in a bad situation.
Stay calm; arguing with others involved won’t solve anything. Rather, approach them with a level head and ask, “Are you alright,” then ask for information, specifically their license, registration, and insurance (offer yours upon request as well). Take pictures of the damage and location, and take note of the time of day; insurance companies typically ask for this information.
Contact Your Insurance
To be prepared, you should know what your insurance covers before an accident. After dealing with the drivers involved, call your insurance company, as many companies prefer immediate reports of crashes. In addition, call the driver’s insurance company. Never assume the other drivers involved will file a claim. This can lead to denial of benefits for you and other hassles.
Consult Your Attorney
Insurance companies have attorneys that look out for their interests--you should have somebody to look out for yours, too. Your attorney is your legal advisor, they can help you with many issues; such as compensation for your vehicle, medical treatment, and work you might have missed. A Langley lawyer from Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation recommends that anyone involved in a wreck consult their legal professional, even if the accident seemed minor. This is due to the fact that many injuries and damages to the vehicle may not be readily apparent until long after the accident--in these cases, having legal representation can be beneficial.
Out on the road, anything can happen. Remember to put your safety and the safety of others above everything else when dealing with the aftermath of an accident.