Car accidents can be traumatic and knowing what to do for the best in such a stressful situation is never easy. We tend to react on instinct but there is no telling whether that instinct is the best thing to do or not. For this reason, it is always good to have a step by step plan for what to do in the event of an accident.
Knowing what the right procedure is should help to ensure that everyone involved is made safe as soon as possible and that you can start dealing with any legal fall out in the most efficient manner possible. No matter what type of accident you are involved in, here are your priorities.
Stop the Car
You should stop the car as soon as the accident happens and leave it as it is. Unless you are causing a major road blockage, leaving the car in place is most advisable as this will give police some clue as to what has happened without relying on testimony.
Turn off the engine and make sure that the handbrake is on firmly. Switch your hazard lights on. If you are able, you should put out a cone or a warning triangle to show other drivers that you are having some problems. This should ensure that they are aware of the hazard and slow down.
Call for Help
Once you have stopped, you should get out of the car to see whether anyone is hurt. It is vital that you do this as quickly as possible so that you can call the emergency services swiftly. If you are hurt, don’t try to move.
You should always call the police in the event of an accident – even if it is just a minor bump. In some states, filing a police report is a legal requirement but you are advised to do this even if you are not obliged by the law.
Watch out for hidden injuries that may appear after a delay. Concussion is one of the most likely hidden injuries you may experience and you should be wary of the onset as it may not be immediate. You should also watch out for muscular pain and soreness that may appear later on.
Get the Facts Straight
Because car accidents are very stressful, remembering the information you need to take down isn’t necessarily at the top of your priority list. However, if you plan to hire injury lawyers for your auto accident claim later on, you will need to gather as much information as possible.
Write down the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved plus the car details and registration including make and model. You will also need the vehicle identification number and their insurance company.
The scene of an accident is never the time to place blame or accept responsibility. At this point, you are just establishing the facts so don’t allow the other party to try to persuade you to accept the responsibility for the accident, even if you think it may have been your fault.