Car accidents can be a jarring and overwhelming experience. Even the most cautious drivers might find themselves involved in a collision. With over six million car accidents reported in the United States each year, it is important to know what to do if you are ever involved in one. Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in an accident.
1. Assess the situation. After the initial shock of a car accident, it is important to assess the situation. Check for injuries to yourself and others in the car. If there are any severe injuries, call an ambulance immediately. If you are able, move the car to a safe location off the road, turn on hazard lights, and put out warning triangles or cones to alert drivers of the accident.
2. Call the police. Even if the accident is minor, it is important to call the police to the scene. The police can help document the accident and create an official report, which can be helpful for insurance purposes. Make sure to get the name and badge number of any police officers who come to the scene.
3. Exchange information. Exchange information with any other drivers involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, insurance providers, and policy numbers. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information as well.
4. Document the accident. Take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved, as well as any injuries or other damage. This can be useful later when filing an insurance claim. If there is a dashcam in your car, save the recording to ensure evidence is not lost or deleted.
5. Notify your insurance company. After an accident, notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the information you gathered at the scene. The insurance company will open a claim and assign an adjuster to work with you through the process.
6. Seek medical attention. Even if you do not feel injured, it is still important to seek medical attention after an accident. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away. Symptoms may occur over the next few days to weeks.
7. Follow up with the insurance company. Your insurance company will investigate the accident and determine fault. They will work with the other driver’s insurance company to come up with a settlement. Follow up with your adjuster and respond to any requests for information as soon as possible.
Getting involved in a car accident is always a stressful situation, but being prepared can help make the experience less overwhelming. Remember to assess the situation, call the police, exchange information, document the accident, notify your insurance company, seek medical attention, and follow up with your insurance company. Properly handling the aftermath of a car accident will help you get the compensation you deserve and return to the road safely.