Getting into a car accident can be a stressful ordeal, so it helps knowing how to deal with it. When faced with a car accident, the most important thing is to maintain a clear presence of mind. With this, you will be able to go through the important motions that should follow an accident.
Recovering from an accident takes time. But at the moment immediately following an accident, you don’t have to worry about all the things you need to do. Just keep these four important steps in mind for the meantime.
Step 1: Take stock of the situation
The first and most important thing you need to do is to take stock of your situation. Go out to examine the accident and how much damage it caused. First, check for injuries so you can call for medical attention when necessary. In case of injuries, call for medical help then try to help the injured persons. It helps to always carry a first aid kit in your car for such unexpected situations. However, make sure not to move the victims while applying first aid. Wait for the paramedics to be the ones to move them, unless the car starts to smoke or a flame begins, in which it is important to get as far away from the vehicle as possible.
In case of minor accidents wherein injuries are minor or there are no injuries at all, you can turn your attention to the extent of damage done to your car and to the other vehicle involved. At this point, you can move to step 2.
Step 2: Gather information
It is essential to get all the information pertaining to the accident. You have to get information about the accident itself and about those who were involved. First, document the accident by taking pictures of it from all possible angles. The pictures can be used to determine who is at fault and what really occurred. Photograph all damages done to the vehicles as well. Also, look for witnesses and get their contact numbers as well. This will help you be able to establish what really happened in case there is a dispute between you and the other party.
Then get information about the other party. The information you should ask for includes the name, address, contact number, car make and model, license plate number, the vehicle identification number of the car.
Step 3: File a police report
With complete information in hand, call the police and file a report for the car accident. Regardless of how minor a car accident is, always be sure to involve the police. If you can’t gather all the information you need from an uncooperative third party, the police will help you with this. Filing a report will help speed up and make it easier for you to file a claim. If the need to call a police is not necessary anymore, be sure to at least go to nearby police stations and make a report just to keep it on record.
Step 4: Contact your insurance agent or agency
Finally, make a call to your insurance agent or to your agency’s emergency hotline. If possible, in case of major accidents, make the call at the scene of the accident and with the police present. The police can help explain the accident and provide more accurate information about it to the insurance company, which can help speed up your claims request.
Do: Keep calm so you can deal with the accident the right way.
Don’t: Don’t panic.
The Verdict: It is scary and nerve-wracking to get into an accident. But no matter how careful you try to be as a driver, car accidents are a part of every driver’s life. Whether quite minor, you can’t expect to prevent accidents from happening. The best you can do is to prepare yourself so if they do happen, you will know what to do.
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