Wondering what to do if you get into a car accident? Not sure what you should do after you have your first car accident?
While some drivers can avoid car accidents for an entire lifetime, others aren’t so lucky. There’s a first time for everything, so if you want to be prepared for the worst, you need to have an idea of what to do after you get into an auto accident.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ll list the 7 key things you need to do after getting into your first car accident.
1. Get to a Safe Spot
One of the very first things you should do after an auto accident is to get your vehicle into a safer spot. If you’re in the middle of the road, ensure that you and the other driver move your cars out of harm’s way.
Particularly at night, you may also want to put on your flashers and put up flares or reflective emergency triangles as well.
2. Manage Your Emotions
After an accident, it’s easy for one or both parties to start feeling a surge of emotions. Instead, try your best to stay calm and manage any feelings of anger, fear, or frustration that you may be having.
Try to breathe deeply and be civil when speaking to the other driver, focusing on the steps you need to take rather than on your emotions.
3. Check For Damage
After a car accident, one of the first things you need to do is to check for injuries and ensure that everyone involved is okay. If someone is injured, you’ll, of course, want to call an ambulance and seek medical attention immediately.
Additionally, it’s also important to determine the damage that has been done to the involved vehicles as well. Whatever the damage may be, be sure that you take note of it as you’ll need to remember this information later on.
4. Document the Accident
Once you’ve been in a car accident, it’s very important that you document all of the details of what has happened and what damage has occurred. You’ll want to go over the events of the accident in your mind and recall exactly what happened from your perspective.
If there has been damage to your vehicle or if there have been any injuries, be sure to take pictures and write down the details as accurately as you can.
5. Keep to Yourself
After you and the other driver have gotten out of your vehicles it may be tempting to talk about the details of the accident with them. However, it’s best to avoid this.
It’s better to make sure you have the story straight in your own mind. Talking to the other participant may end up confusing you and making your forget exactly how things have happened. The other driver may also have ulterior motives in discussing it with you if they believe that the accident was their fault.
Instead, document the facts of the accident on your own and be prepared to tell the police your side of the story once they arrive.
6. Call the Police
Contacting the police and telling them about your car accident is very important and is one of the first things you should do after an accident. Even if it wasn’t a serious car accident, it’s usually best to get a police officer on the scene anyway.
Afterward, make sure that you get the police report number as well as the officer’s name and phone number. A police report will likely be necessary for insurance purposes, so make sure that you get the information you need.
7. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
In cases where a police officer doesn’t come to the scene of your accident, you’ll need to get make sure to get the information of the other party on your own. You’ll want to grab the other driver’s insurance information as well as their contact information, address, and name.
You’ll also want to get contact information for anybody who was involved in the accident, such as passengers, as well as anybody else who was at the scene such as witnesses.
8. Call Your Insurance Company
You’ll also need to notify your insurance company of what has happened as soon as you can after an accident. This will likely be necessary as part of your coverage agreement.
Additionally, if you’re not sure about what your insurance policy will cover, you may need to discuss it with an insurance agent after your accident. Depending on whether you were at fault for the accident or not, coverage may vary, so be sure to find out what you can expect.
9. Get Legal Assistance
When it comes to dealing with insurance companies and ensuring you get the amount you deserve, things can sometimes be tricky. Dealing with insurance companies and other drivers can be difficult to handle and insurance companies may sometimes try to avoid compensating you.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to ensure you have a lawyer on your side. A great attorney can help you deal with the legal aspects of a car accident and can make things much easier for you. You may want to visit here for more information about how a skilled attorney can help you after an auto accident.
Following These Steps After Your First Car Accident
If you find yourself involved in a car accident, it’s important that you know how to handle each step you’ll take afterward. By following the guide above, your first car accident won’t be nearly as difficult or stressful as it may be otherwise.
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