Involved in a Car Accident? Here Are 5 Essential Steps to Take
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of being involved in a car accident. Yet it’s a problem that can crop up at any time.
The damage of a car accident can vary drastically. It can be something as minor as a small bump in the back of another vehicle, or it could lead to fatalities. Even the continued improvement of safety functions in modern cars hasn’t helped to lower the statistics of road deaths.
If you’re fortunate enough to only be involved in a relatively minor accident, here are five essential steps you need to take:
1. Stop, check, and safety
First of all, you want to stop the vehicle as soon as possible. If the vehicle remains in motion, this can be classed as an offence.
Once the car has stopped, check if you have suffered any injuries. If you’re able to move without too much discomfort, check on any passengers who may also be in the vehicle. If anyone else has suffered a significant injury, phoning for aid is imperative.
Switch the car’s hazard lights on and exit the vehicle if possible. Get to safety by moving to the path or side of the road.
The damage of a car accident can vary drastically.
2. Remain calm
With the shock and adrenaline that you’re likely suffering from, it can admittedly be difficult to remain calm. Here are a few pointers to remember:
- Take deep breaths
- Count to ten
- Avoid losing your temper
- Try your best to come to terms with the situation
In the heat of the moment, you can also say things you’ll later regret – like admitting you were responsible for the accident. Simply keep quiet until you’re fully aware of how the accident happened. This can prevent you from liability.
3. Assess the accident scene
To protect yourself and also prepare for a potential lawsuit, you should fully assess and document the accident scene. Start by taking pictures or videos. Capture all of the damage to both vehicles, and also the surrounding area.
In addition, try and find any witnesses who saw the accident. If they can provide details about what happened, take note of their contact information. If any police officers arrive at the scene, also jot down their names and badge numbers.
The more information you gather, the better.
4. Exchange information
It’s also important you exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle. As well as contact details, you’ll need to swap insurance information. Other notes you should take down about the other driver/vehicle are:
- License plate number
- Driver’s licence
- Make, model, and colour of vehicle
5. Receive professional help
In the end, you will have to receive professional assistance in some form. This could be through your insurance agency or, if the situation escalates, a specialist car accident attorney.
Nobody wants to bring an attorney into the picture if they can avoid it, but sometimes it’s a necessity. Plus, it can make you better off financially. The attorney can inspect insurance policies, see if the insurance company is trying to utilise underhand tactics to save money, and they could negotiate a much more satisfactory settlement.
The above five steps are crucial to know in case you ever find yourself in a situation such as this. The most important thing is to remain calm, seek help from professionals for any injuries and then legal aid to ensure that you can stay financially secure, even if you have lost wages.