Being in an accident is scary and at times hard to process what to do immediately after. There could be injuries and you easily get lost in the chaos that follows an accident. This is to help you prepare for what needs to be done at the scene of an accident, if at all possible – be prepared for the unpredictable.
Make sure to keep all of your pertinent information in your glove box (i.e. car insurance card, health insurance card, emergency contacts, registration). If the time comes to need it, you will know exactly where they are.
First and foremost advice is to never drive away from an accident without addressing the situation with the other party, and/or sharing information. If you were to drive off and not address the situation appropriately, you could be faced with criminal charges. These charges could vary from a felony to serious hit and run to a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the accident.
Accidents happen all the time. Even careful drivers can get into an accident. Just remember to take deep breaths. Emotions are high and adrenaline is pumping through your body. Do not panic. Take deep breaths to calm yourself so that you are able to correctly assess the situation. Determine any injuries that need to be taken care of immediately, including other drivers. If there are injuries that warrant an ambulance or if you are unsure contact 9-11 as soon as possible.
If it is a minor accident, make sure that you move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road or to a safe place out of the line of direct traffic. Put on your hazard lights on and put out any hazard triangle or cones that you have stored in your vehicle. Contact the police, even if you may feel that the police aren’t warranted for a small collision. They will be able to document the accident on a legal platform. Take photos of the accident and location. Be sure to get photos of all vehicles involved as well as any other important features.
Exchange all needed information. This would include parties names, insurance information, driver’s license, and license plate information. If possible, take photos of the identification cards and insurance information. If information is not gathered properly, it is almost impossible to get the information on the other party after both parties have departed from the scene of the accident.
Once you are calm and collected following an accident, file a claim with your insurance, even if you are not at fault for the accident. Make sure that you tell the insurance company the truth about what happened to cause the accident. There are repercussions for lying about what happened. You could face as little as denial of payment for your loss to as big as penalties for perjury. If the opposing insurance contacts you, do not give them any information on your treatment status and do not sign anything. However, you must keep an accurate note of any injuries and treatment that you may have or get.
Contact a personal injury lawyer trusts if you are not at fault. Give them all information pertaining to the accident. The attorney is there to fight for you, they want you to get the correct treatment and make sure that you are properly compensated for the injuries that were sustained as a result of the accident.