When an accident occurs, the most important thing to do is keep your wits about you. Panicking doesn’t help anyone, and doing so can make an already stressful situation much, much worse. Even if you don’t think it will ever happen to you, it’s important to plan for accidents beforehand so you will be ready if, and when, they do occur. Read on to discover what to do after a car accident so that you can move on with your life safely and effectively.
Ensure the Safety of Everyone Involved
Directly following an accident, your primary focus should be on the safety of everyone involved. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Assuming everyone is OK in your car, check the other driver to see if they have been hurt. Once you’ve determined the safety of everyone involved in the accident, you should phone the police and obtain any necessary emergency services.
Prepare All of Your Documents
While you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive at the scene of your accident, you should make sure to get all of your documents ready. Get out your driver’s license and registration, as well as your insurance information, so that they’ll be ready when the police arrive. Additionally, you should write down the license plate numbers of any vehicles involved, the make and model of the involved vehicles, and the phone numbers of any witnesses. It’s also important that you get the contact information from the responding officer, which will may be useful in any future insurance disputes.
Fully Document the Accident
Because of the stresses inherent in a car accident, many people involved forget one of the most important steps: fully documenting the scene of the wreck. Thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones, it’s become easier than ever to document accidents for insurance purposes. While waiting for the police, take as many pictures, as well as video, of the damage inflicted on both vehicles involved. You should also try to record the road conditions at the accident site, especially if the road is very slick. Having this information on-hand may help you when dealing with your insurance company.
File Your Insurance Claim
The last, and possibly most important, step to take following a car accident is to report the accident to your insurance company. Reporting your accident as soon as possible can mean the difference between getting a fast settlement and having to wait months to get your car repaired. When you report your accident, make sure to have all the information you recorded at the crash site, which will be very helpful in proving your claim.
Driving safely by respecting the road and other drivers can prevent most accidents, but not all of them. Although collisions can be extremely stressful incidents, it is possible to prepare beforehand so that you’re ready when they inevitably occur. Being prepared for a car accident will increase your safety and reduce your anxiety level, improving the outcomes for everyone involved.