Car accidents are unfortunate, but they do happen. The cause of the accident could be anything from bad tire maintenance to driving negligence. If you happen to be involved in a road accident, it’s important that you know what steps to take in the aftermath of a collision.
The way you react to the accident will help in preventing any further injuries, bringing down costs and boosting up the repair process. So in case you get into a car accident, try to keep your calm and follow these important steps:
Think Safety First
See to it that nobody is injured and in case there are injuries, call 911 right away. If the accident is minor and there are no injuries then move the vehicles involved to the side. However, if there is major damage done with serious injuries then don’t move the vehicles even if you’re able to – wait for the police to arrive. Also, if there’s a question of who was the cause of the accident then leave the vehicles where they are so the come police can come and determine who’s responsible.
Call the Police
No matter how much someone at the scene convinces you to avoid it, don’t listen. Get the necessary details such as the reporting officer’s name and the police report number. If you are at a location where the police doesn’t respond to minor accidents with minor injuries (or heavy property damage, then make sure you file an “accident report” at your local police station without wasting much time.
Get the details of the driver’s involved in the accident. This includes their name, contact info (home address and phone number), policy number, insurance company, license plate number and of course their driver’s license number. In addition to this, note down the overall description of the vehicle which includes the color, make, year, model, and the obvious damage.
It’s important that you snap photographs of the damage done to each of the vehicles. Also, try and include the license plate number of the vehicle in the pictures. Getting photographs of the other drivers involved also makes sense, but do it only if its possible. Besides this, take pictures of the surrounding streets as it may be helpful to your attorney and insurance firm.
File a Claim
One of the things that you shouldn’t delay is filing a claim. Call up your insurance company right after the accident (as soon as you can) to open a “new claim”. Be sure of what all your insurance company beforehand. This makes it easy for you and helps you not stress out or worry on things like towing at the accident scene.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Don’t waste time in contacting an attorney, especially when and if the accident involves any injuries. For example, call a San Diego car accident attorney if you reside that part of the country. But the point is – you should try and avoid delaying it. The insurance companies on the other hand will determine liability, so they’ll be getting in touch with you for your authorization to get medical info from your doctors, for recorded statements, etc.