Car accidents are often overwhelming, which can make it difficult to take the right steps in the aftermath. Acting appropriately is important for maintaining safety, but it can also help you pursue damages if the accident results from negligence.
By maintaining a calm and reasonable demeanor, you can address the many details of the accident and secure the information you need to move forward.
Check for injuries
Your health and the health of others should be your top priority, so check for injuries before taking any other action. If anyone exhibits injuries, contact emergency services immediately to request assistance.
Move to a safe location
In the event there are no injuries, and it is safe to do so, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic. Doing so will prevent further accidents and safeguard other motorists in the area. You should also turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
Next, look for other parties involved in the collision to exchange information. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information. Be sure to provide the same information when requested.
Document the scene
The more information you can provide to your insurer, the more accurate your claim will be. Accordingly, you should document the scene by taking pictures and videos with your phone. These visual records can be beneficial for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Contact the police
It is always a good idea to contact the police and file an accident report, even with minor incidents. A police report will provide an official record of the accident, which can be helpful when dealing with insurance companies.
Gather witness information
If there are any witnesses to the accident, request their names and contact information. Witnesses can help support your version of events if needed later, especially if the other drivers refute claims of negligence.
Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide the basic details, including the other driver’s information and the police report number. However, don’t provide any extra information or downplay your injury.
Contact a personal injury attorney
A personal injury attorney can get involved in your case right away to make sure your rights and interests are protected. Keep in mind that insurance companies will try to minimize or even deny compensation to injury victims. A personal injury attorney can build a case and negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the full and fair compensation you need for your injuries.