Unless you want the most points in a demolition derby and carry the cup home, you don’t want to be in a car wreck. A little distraction for a few seconds could have you leave this world. But if you survive, what should you do? Definitely, your whole day will be ruined, but here are ten things you should do after an accident.
1. Check Yourself and Your Passengers
This will be probably the first thing you will think of after you gain consciousness or overcome the shock. Check if you’re hurt and if you can move, check the other occupants if any.
If there are any injuries, call 911 or ask someone to call them for you. Don’t try to move if you are injured. Wait for emergency personnel.
2. Activate Hazard Lights
You need to notify the other drivers that there has been an incident by turning the hazard indicators on.
This will warn the drivers that there has been an accident on the road and that they should proceed with caution. You can also use a flare if you have one.
3. Don’t Leave the Scene
Never drive away from an accident scene even if it’s a minor one. The only time you can move from that scene is when an ambulance comes, this will save you from being filed for run charges.
You can, however, move to the other side of the road for safety concerns, stop your vehicle and turn the engine off.
4. Check on The Others
The other car occupant or the pedestrian could have been injured. According to Lawsuitinfocenter.com, most trucking accident injuries happen to the people outside the truck.
Call 911 if you find them injured. Even fainting as a result of shock should be checked by a medical team.
5. Call the Police
The police should be called after every accident. They are the ones who gather the information, which you can obtain later and file a claim to the insurance company.
It’s the report that is used to confirm the events of that fateful day and determine the fault. Without any report, the other party who probably caused the accident might deny, and the insurance will not compensate you.
6. Keep Quiet and Don’t Admit Fault
The ten minutes or hours after the accident are crucial. A slip of the tongue could cost you. Each driver might have an account of how it happened, and they may begin to discuss it.
At times, they may be wrong. Don’t admit fault. It’s something only your lawyer or insurance company can determine. Admitting that it’s your fault and that you should have left your house earlier makes you responsible.
7. Take Pictures
This is where dashboard cams help. Also, use your cellphone to take pictures of the scene and the damage. You should also take pictures of your injuries if they are visible.
However, try to take pictures before the police arrive at the scene since you won’t be allowed to interfere with their investigation. Take photos that can back your claims and if there were any witnesses at the scene, get their contact information. They may help out if the other driver disputes your version of the story.
8. Gather Information
After the accident, you will want to take all the details before the scene is cleared. Write down the details of both the driver and passengers, their names and addresses.
Also, write down the plate numbers, insurance info, the make and models of the vehicles, the location of the scene, and the name of the police officers.
9. Call Your Insurance Company
One of the most important things you should do after a car accident is calling your insurance company. They will not be happy about it of course since they might be required to pay someone, but it’s essential.
Even when you are not making a formal claim, you will still want to set things straight in case the other driver in the accident will want to talk to your insurance company.
10. Contact Your Employer
If the car you are driving is of a company, call the fleet manager, the person in charge of accident management in the company, or if possible, the company’s insurance provider.
A police report and a state vehicle accident report from the company helps the insurer speed up the claims process.
About 6.2 million accidents happen in the US every year. Fortunately, most of them aren’t fatal and only involve property damage. Every driver should exercise extra caution to avoid running into other cars.