Getting into a car accident is something that no one enjoys. Not only does it throw your day off, but you then have to deal with damage to your car, and there may have even been injuries as a result of the accident. It is not always possible to avoid getting into car accidents, and at some point in your life it may happen to you. If that time comes, it is important that you know what steps to take.
1. Get To A Safe Place
The first thing that you will want to do – if you are able – is get yourself to safety. Pull over to the side of the road if you can, or if you notice smoke coming from your car, be sure to get away from it. Your safety is the number one priority in this situation, so once that is taken care of, you can begin moving onto the other steps.
2. Call The Police
In any car accident situation, you are going to want to have an official police report made. Call the police as soon as you are able so that they can quickly get to the scene. Once they are there they can help you out and make a full report that you can use later with your insurance company or lawyers if need be.
3. Get Medical Attention
If anyone was hurt during the accident, getting help for them is essential. If you called the police, be sure to mention this so that they can send EMTs to the scene to assist anyone who was injured. Even for minor injuries you will want to go to the hospital to have them checked out. Doing so not only ensures that you are healthy and that there is nothing else wrong, but it also gives you a document that proves your injuries are real.
4. Document Everything
As long as you are not injured, while you are waiting for the police, begin documenting everything. Take note of the streets you are on, the make/model/license plate number of any other cars involved, and take pictures of everything that you can. Most cell phones come with cameras these days, so whip yours out and start taking pictures. The more pictures that you have, the better.
5. Swap Information
If another driver was involved in the accident, you will want to swap information with them. From the other driver you should get their name, phone number, and insurance information. Jot this down on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place. The other driver will most likely want the same information from you, so be sure you have your insurance information handy.
6. Contact A Lawyer
In many cases, a car accident is not a complicated issue. The police write up a report, and the insurance agencies deal with everything. However in some cases, you may need to get a lawyer. This usually happens when there are injuries, or if one party is not insured or flees the scene. You will definitely want a personal injury lawyer – like car accident attorney – if you yourself was injured, as you want to ensure that your medical expenses will be taken care of.
7. Stay Calm
Last but not least, try to stay calm throughout the process. We know that car accidents can shake people, but if you remember the steps above, you should be able to handle everything smoothly. Just remember to take care of the most pressing issues first – like getting to safety and any injuries – and then deal with documenting the accident and getting all of the information that you need.