Nothing prepares drivers for car accidents. That’s for sure. The aftermath of a grisly accident can be traumatizing even for the experienced driver. The initial steps the drivers who collide with one another take after the accident are critical to their wellbeing. The proper response also gives them better chances of getting compensation from their insurance companies.
Here are a few steps to follow if you ever find yourself in a car collision with another driver.
1. Confirm the Safety of the Individuals
The welfare of anyone involved surpasses any financial loss. After all, the vehicles can be replaced or repaired. The same cannot be said for the loss of human life or serious bodily harm.
Depending on the collision’s severity, both drivers need to step out of their cars if they can. Before doing so, it is a good idea to turn on the emergency flashers. This helps notify other road users that something is amiss.
You must call 911 to alert both the police and emergency health services in case of any injuries. If all the occupants are okay, you can call the police hotline to report the incident.
Never attempt to leave the scene of the accident before the police show up.
2. Accident Scene Assessment
Take evidence of the scene as it is using photos if possible. Most smartphones today have quality cameras, which are enough for this purpose.
To protect yourself, refrain from being apologetic or admitting any guilt to the other party. In the chance that the case ends up in court, admission of guilt on the scene can work to your disadvantage.
3. Collecting Information
Collecting the driver’s contact details and details of the other car is vital when claiming insurance reimbursement or in a court case. Some relevant details include the following:
- Name, address, and other relevant contact details of the other driver
- Insurance details of the other driver: include the policy number, name, and contacts of the insurance company
- Make and model of the other car; get the plate number if possible, too
- Information of the police who are dispatched to the scene
4. Inform Your Insurance Company
The next step is calling your Insurance company and informing them about the accident. Give them all the information they request from you. They probably will ask you to send them photos of the scene.
The sooner you inform your insurance company of your involvement in an accident, the sooner they can start processing your claim. Some insurance providers also prefer to send a field agent from their office to do the assessment.
5. Call a Qualified Attorney.
No matter how minor the accident seems, calling a car accident lawyer is very important. A lawyer will help you get rightful compensation from the insurance company and represent you if any other litigation issues arise from the accident.
Getting a lawyer involved from early on is vital to help your case. The other driver might get compensation from you, and you don’t want them to get you flatfooted.
6. Seek Medical Attention
Some accident victims seem okay immediately after a car accident only to develop health-related issues later. Don’t let this be you. Even if you feel fine after the incident, a doctor’s visit for a quick checkup is a good idea if you get into a car accident.
7. Gathering Records
Store all the records you have collected in a secure and easily accessible place. Examples of the records you need to have with you include the following documents:
- Any police reports
- Both your Medical records and those of the other driver
- Billing records from the hospital and car repair shop
All these records and any other that you might deem necessary come in handy should the other driver pursue a lawsuit against you for damages.