The last thing anyone wants to do is be involved in a car accident. However, they happen. Even if you are the safest and most aware driver there is, there’s still a chance that you can be involved in a collision. If or when an accident happens, it’s important how you react to the incident.
Here are a few tips to follow if you’re involved in a car accident.
Health & Safety First
The number one thing you need to do is make sure you’re okay. Try to feel for any cuts or open wounds as a result of the accident. If you sustained broken bones in the crash, you’ll likely feel it right away. Once you have gathered yourself and you are alright, check on the other driver. You need to be sure they are okay as well, then you can move forward.
Assess the Damage
Even small collisions can leave a lot of damage. Take a step back to assess the damage to your vehicle and to the other drivers’ car. Look for noticeable dings and dents that would be an immediate result of the accident. Be sure both vehicles are still operable and if you’re in the middle of a busy street, do your best to move the cars to the side of the road. Once you have assessed the damage with the other vehicle owner, it’s time to talk insurance.
Show Your Proof of Insurance
No matter who causes a collision, both parties need to present insurance. Insurance is required by law to operate a motor vehicle, so you always want to carry your insurance information with you. Failure to do so could result in arrest or other legal penalties. Ask the other driver for their insurance as you are ready to present yours. If they do not want to provide insurance or appear to not have any auto insurance at all, you’ll need to call for a police officer. Dial 911 or your local police department to request an officer to visit the scene of the accident.
Assuming the other vehicle operator does have insurance, you’ll want to take down their name, number and policy number. If significant damage is sustained, you’ll need to file an accident claim with your insurance provider.
A lot of careless vehicle accidents result in long-term injuries. Some people suffer from back pains, whiplash or develop migraines due to a car accident. If you’re noticing these symptoms shortly after an accident, you’ll need to see a doctor or chiropractor right away. The doctor will perform a variety of exams to understand what is going on and then can recommend you a treatment plan. This plan and all medical expenses should be covered by the other driver (assuming they are the one who caused the accident). If they refuse to pay for your medical expenses, you may need to seek the services of a personal injury attorney.
Continue to be as careful as possible when operating a motor vehicle. Wear a seatbelt at all times, stay off of your phone and abide by all traffic laws in your city. Use the above tips if you are in an accident and be sure to hire an attorney if it comes to that. Most attorneys work off of a contingency basis and will not charge you until a settlement is reached.