If you have been fortunate enough to have never been in a car accident, it may come as a shock to understand how disruptive, overwhelming, and dangerous the experience can be. That is why it pays to be prepared and know the appropriate steps to take after a car accident. Knowing what to do may make the incident less stressful, and your actions may help you in the long run. Here are some important things to focus on immediately after the crash:
Get to Safety But Don’t Leave the Scene
The law requires you to stay at the scene of the accident, but that does not mean you have to stay in harm’s way. Move the vehicles out of the traffic lane and turn on the hazard lights or place warning triangles if you have them.
Check For Injuries
Check yourself for injuries, and then check the other driver and any passengers. Call an ambulance for whoever needs it. As soon as you can leave the accident scene, get yourself checked out by a medical professional. Many injuries are not immediately obvious, and you don’t want to be surprised by internal injuries later on.
Call the Police
It is vital for law enforcement officers to file a report, no matter how minor the accident is. You will need the report should you have to file a claim and this document is invaluable when it comes to establishing who was at fault for the accident. There is no need for you to voice your opinion as to what happened, and you should never admit blame. Let the police do their job and reconstruct the event.
You must obtain information from the other driver. Most importantly, their name, address, phone number, and insurance information. You can also get their driver’s license number, the make and model of their car, and its license plate number.
Document the Scene
If you can move around, take pictures of the scene. Capture the cars, their position, and damaged areas. Take pictures of anything that might have played a part in the collision, such as water or oil on the road, traffic signs, and anything else you consider important.
If there are any witnesses around, talk to them and get their testimony and personal information. It may come in handy in the future, should you decide to file a claim. Also, as soon as you can, write down everything you remember. As days go by, you may have trouble remembering certain important facts.
Call Your Insurance Company
Let your insurance agent know what happened as soon as you can. If you are still at the accident scene, they may tell you what information they will need to start processing your claim and what to expect during the claim process.
Talk to an Accident Attorney
It is not uncommon for people who have been in a car accident to discover that their insurance company’s amount is insufficient to cover their expenses. If you reach out to a car accident lawyer in Atlanta and let them know your situation, you will gain a valuable ally at a time when you need it most.