Car accidents are an unfortunate part of our lives. We saw a decline in the number of car accidents during the pandemic but they still happen. Speeding, risky driving, and hard braking can lead to a fatal accident. When you are in an accident, you want to be prepared whether you caused the collision or not. Being prepared will protect your ability to make an insurance claim and will also protect you if the driver falsely blames you for the accident.
Here are a few things you need to do right after an accident to be well prepared to handle the injuries, drivers, and insurance companies.
Right after a collision
What you need to do right after the accident is to pull the car to a safe place, maybe a public one where others can see you and the driver. If your car is causing a road hazard, move it to a sidewalk but ensure it is not on the road. Use emergency flashers to inform the oncoming cars and get through the incident to preserve the rights for a claim. Just do not leave the scene.
Secure elders, pets, and disabled
The majority of us tend to get distracted after an accident and make mistakes that we would not normally do. Never leave the pets and loved ones in the car as it might lead to an additional injury. Even if it is a minor collision, do not leave the pets, disabled adults, or children in the locked car. If kids are traveling with you in the car and are young enough to be in car seats, do not remove them from the seats. Let the first responder check them for injuries first.
Call an ambulance
Once you and the vehicle are in a safe space, you need to check if anyone has any injuries. Immediately call an ambulance if someone has even minor injuries from the accident. Get medical help for yourself and get someone nearby to give you the accurate location of the accident. You will have to provide all the details of the accident including the street name, city, traffic signs, mile markings, and more.
It is also necessary to call the police. If the police does not reach the scene on time, go to a nearby police station and file a report. It will help in the claim process at a later stage.
Talk to the other driver
You need to determine you are safe by talking to the other driver and it is possible to do so calmly. In case you notice any sign of road rage, use caution when you talk to them. After you know you are safe, you need to secure the valuables before exiting the vehicle. It is okay to engage in small talk while waiting for the police but do not make any admissions or even say sorry, even if you are at fault.
Never blame the accident on the other driver or accept blame from them. Stop discussing who is at fault and let the insurance companies decide. Also, avoid discussing any potential injuries. Nobody knows the extent of damage to the body or the car so there is no point in discussing it.
Only doctors can assess the health. Only stick to facts when you talk to others and do not discuss who is at fault or how much insurance you have. The insurer will help you with the claim process and if needed, you can hire an attorney to help you with the process. Check out The Barnes Firm reviews before you decide on working with an attorney.
Avoid making deals
Do not make any side deals with other drivers to pay or accept cash for the accident. The right way to get compensation for the accident is through an insurance company. Even if the other driver offers a sum, do not take it. A handshake deal with cash can expose you to several expenses down the line.
Collect relevant information
Now that you have taken all the steps to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones, you should not forget to gather all the important information. Keep all the important information in the car and carry essential medical information with you at all times. You must have the information of all members of your family easily accessible to you.
To make an insurance claim, you need to collect the name and contact information, driver’s license number, model, type and color of vehicle, and location of the accident. Whenever possible, take videos and photos of the damage to the car and talk to witnesses. You can write down or record whatever details you find at the location. Document all the injuries and provide all the details when the police report is filed.
Once you have everything in place, you can proceed to make an insurance claim. Keep a copy of the medical records and save bills from the accident.