It is difficult for even the most level-headed drivers to think clearly in the moments following a car accident. Your mind is most likely racing, filled with countless thoughts and stressful emotions. However, there are a few steps you want to be sure to take in order to assure the safety and best potential outcome for yourself, your passengers, and the other drives on the road around you. Continue reading to learn about the first steps after a car accident to follow the law, keep yourself and others safe, and begin the insurance claim process.
Assess And Protect The Scene Of The Car Accident
After an accident, safety is one of your first, if not your highest, priority. The first thing you should do is assess yourself and any other passengers in your vehicle. Is anyone injured? If so, what are the injuries and level of severity? Also, briefly evaluate any damages that your vehicle may have suffered.
Once you have assessed your immediate vicinity, take a look outside, and make observations. Be sure to turn on vehicle hazard lights, especially if you are on a crowded street or it is nighttime. To better protect the vehicles, the passengers, and everyone else on the road, move the cars out of direct traffic.
If the vehicles cannot be moved, everyone should wait on the side of the road, not in the lane of traffic. Remember, even if you deem the accident to be minor, never flee the scene of an accident.
Contact The Appropriate Authorities
If someone involved in the car accident is injured, immediately call 911. However, if everyone is okay, it is still best practice to call the police. Even if the car crash is minor and no one is injured, you should always contact the local police or highway patrol because some states require by law that an accident report is filed with local law enforcement.
Once the officer arrives, the officer will ask for your license, registration, insurance, and additional pertinent information. In turn, you should request the officer`s name, badge number, and contact information. The officer will then create a police accident report following this interaction; ask for this report, as it will aid you in the insurance claim process.
Exchange Information With The Other The Other Parties Involved In The Car Accident
Ask for the other driver`s full name, home address, email address, and phone number. Additionally, take a photograph of their driver`s license, car insurance card (this should include the insurance company name and policy number), and vehicle`s license plate numbers.
It may also be helpful to take photographs of the scene of the accident, such as vehicular damages, broken glass on the street, misshapen road signs, etcetera. Separately, you should also note the driver`s relationship to the car owner and the car`s make, model, and color. In the event that there are witnesses at the scene of the accident, ask for their full names and contact information too.
Contact Your Car Insurance Company As Soon As Possible
By calling your car insurance company as soon as possible, you can begin the claims process immediately. You should preferably contact your insurance agent at the scene of the accident. This will allow you to describe the scene to your agent as accurately as possible, which, in turn, your agent will explain to you precisely what they need to process your claim and what to expect.
With a rise in vehicular accidents and deaths caused by vehicular accidents, our legal system is becoming swamped with car accident lawsuits. Victims are oftentimes forced to wait for long periods before finding recourse. Legal funding can potentially address this disparity, providing financial relief for victims facing mountains of medical bills, rent payments, and other expenses.