19 Feb Follow These 8 Steps if You’ve Been in a Car Accident
No one likes getting into a car accident. At worst, you could be seriously injured, and at best, it’s still a scary experience. When you get into an accident, it’s hard to know what to do. There is a lot going on, and you’re likely shaken up from the collision. By reading the list below, you will hopefully be able to keep the steps in mind, so that if you ever experience a car accident, you’ll know what to do.
Get to Safety
The first thing you want to do is ensure that you are safe. Accidents can happen anywhere, or cause any number of problems with your car. Before you do anything else, you want to get yourself to safety. This could mean pulling your car over to the side of the road, or escaping the car because you’ve noticed smoke. Forget everything else, and ensure that yourself and the other passengers are safe before proceeding.
Call the Police
The next thing to do is call your local police department. Even if the accident wasn’t a major one, with no apparent injuries, you’ll want the police there to make a record of the accident. They can help to settle any disputes on the scene, and ensure everything runs smoothly. Calling the police is especially important if you are in a dangerous spot, or if you suspect someone has an injury.
Once you’re in a safe spot, and the police are on the way, now you can communicate with any other drivers involved. You’ll want to ensure that they are okay, and if they are, begin swapping information. You’ll need their name, phone number, and insurance information, and they’ll need the same from you. If your car is safe, get this information out so that you can swap with other drivers. For more on what information you’ll need, you can look at this checklist.
It’s always a good idea after an accident to take pictures of the damage. Since most of us have cameras on our phones, this step becomes a lot easier than it used to be. Take pictures of the damage, any injuries, the surrounding area, and any other cars involved. This will help during insurance claims, or if there are any injuries involved with the accident. Once you move your car or leave the scene, pictures won’t be of any use, so take them before you go anywhere.
Have Yourself Checked Out
Even if you feel fine after an accident, or you only sustained minor injuries, it’s still a good idea to get checked out. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re hurt, and it isn’t until later that something starts to bother us. By getting yourself checked out immediately after the accident, you’ll also make the insurance claim process easier. Keep a copy of any medical records in your files as well, just in case you need them.
Contact a Lawyer if Necessary
Sometimes you need to get a lawyer involved after an accident. They are typically used if the other person in the accident doesn’t have insurance, if you don’t have insurance, or if there were injuries involved. You won’t always need a lawyer, and if you’re unsure if you need one, you can check out this guide for more information.
Deal With Your Car
Now that you’ve taken care of yourself, it’s time to worry about your car. If you’re lucky, the car escaped with little to no damage. All you might need to do is buff out some scratches, or take it to your mechanic for some small repairs. In other instances, the accident will total your car. If this happens, you might want to look up “junk a car near me” and find out what you can get for it. Otherwise, work with your insurance company to cover any damages that your car receives from the accident and have ti repaired.
Take Time to Recover
Finally, severe accidents can take an emotional toll on us, as well as a physical one. Even if your body is fine, you might still need time to recover from the accident. Don’t feel ashamed if it takes you some time to get behind the wheel again, and seek some help if you need it. Car accidents are extremely stressful, so take all the time you need to recover.
Try to Remain Calm
After an accident, it’s hard to keep your wits about you. If you can, remember to take a few calming breathes before you start the ignition. By keeping a clear head, you’re more likely to remember the items above, and make the car accident a little easier to handle.