Car accidents are in inevitable no matter how careful you are on the road. As a driver, you should always expect a car accident even when there is no immediate danger. Any road hazard, such as a pothole, a deer, or even a drunk driver can come out of nowhere when you least expect it.
If you do get into an accident, the first thing to do is to not panic. There are appropriate steps you’ll need to take in the event of an accident to help quickly and calmly assess and take care of the situation. In this article, we’ll be talking about the steps you should take if you do get into an accident. If you worry about an accident happening, having full coverage auto insurance is a great way to ensure coverage if something does happen.
Keep reading the steps below to learn more about what you should do in the event of an accident.
Stop and Stay Calm
Keep calm and never move your vehicle from the scene of the accident until it is safe. If you panic, you may cause a worse disturbance than the accident itself. Additionally, if there is police involvement, staying calm will help deescalate the situation.
Determine the Extent of the Damage and Protect the Scene
Check quickly to see if anyone needs urgent medical care. If anyone is seriously injured, ask for help from emergency services or bystanders. Ensure the vehicles are at a fixed position unless they are causing traffic. The cars involved should not be moved until the police come, or if there is no major damage. Set up flares and keep your flashers on to prevent more accidents from happening. If your car is completely dismantled, use your phone’s flashlight to signal passing vehicles.
Contact the Police
Reporting an accident is important whether it is a major or minor one. A police report is needed when filing a claim with your insurance company. The responding officers should fill the accident report and document the scene. In some cases, you might be required to drive to a police station and write a statement. Always ensure that you fill the car accident form, for your own benefit and also ease of events thereafter.
Make an Accurate Record
When police arrive at the scene narrate to the responding officer what exactly happened to the best of your ability. Never speculate, exaggerate, misstate, or guess any facts that the investigating officer may need. It is also advisable to avoid making statements about things that you are not sure about. For instance, if the investigating officer asks you if you suffered any injuries from the accident and you are not sure, just say you are not sure. Make sure you listen to what the other party involved is saying and ensure that his or her statements are correct.
For your own safety, ensure you take note of the following:
- Identify the officers – take note of their names and badge numbers.
- Obtain yourself a copy of the accident report that has just been filled.
- Take and preserve accident pictures – ensure you have captured the other cars license plates. This will help support your insurance claim.
- Preserve a witness’ phone number and guard it.
- Take note of the correct names of all the parties involved and get their contacts.
Notify Your Insurer and Begin the Claim Process
According to the Insurance Information Institute, it is vital to ask for your insurer’s agent to verify what you need during your claim process. Find out any medical benefits, since you always pay for your medical cover. Be aware of all insurance coverage you will be awarded. The agent should explain to you what to expect during your claiming process. Besides, your insurance commissioner will also inform you of particular laws that relate to the side of your story. The insurance representative will also ensure that you are not overcharged in case the accident is due to your fault.
Seek Medical Attention & Remove the Vehicle
Usually, injuries that result from accidents may not be immediately felt, but most people report cases of severe pain or a problem with movement after a day or two. Studies have also shown that people are also likely to sustain permanent or serious injury to their spinal cord even in minor accidents. If you feel dazed or lose consciousness for a short period after a collision, then chances are you might have suffered a closed head injury or concussion. Additionally, if a tow truck is not on the way already, you’ll need to remove the vehicle from the scene if possible.