Every year, thousands upon thousands of accidents happen all across the globe. It’s completely normal, and while not a pleasant part of life, it definitely happens wherever you are. However, a positive bit of information is that most of these accidents are just property damage – your car might have been damaged, but in general, you won’t have much to be worried about. Only one-third of accidents actually end up with the drivers and passengers getting hurt, and only 20% of that number is fatal. However, getting physically unscathed out of this one is just half the battle.
Namely, knowing how to react after a car accident can be tricky. You might be dazed, confused, or perhaps just out of it. Maybe you got some adrenaline kicking in, or maybe you are just plain mad. But, however you feel, you need to still stick to the following. Keep a cool head and knowing what to do is an important part of going through a car accident without any headaches.
Stay there at the scene
First things first – stay at the scene and don’t move. Take a look at yourself and your passengers? What is the damage? Did your car flip, or was it a small fender bender? Even if it was light, you should still keep an eye on everybody. Check if anybody hit his or her head, or if they’re suffering from whiplash.
Call the police and document everything
Next, call the police. Before you start speaking to the person you collided with, you want to get some police involved (if somebody has been hurt). Now, if no one has been hurt, then reiterate that to the police, specify that everything is fine and that you just want to file a report. In certain places, this can be obligatory. In those where it isn’t that obligatory, it’s still useful, and since it can help you get your insurance documentation going faster.
Now, while you are at the scene, you want to document everything. Take a picture, videos, write things down, try to get as much information and evidence about the damage and the situation as you can. This includes any buries you might have, any cuts, and, of course, damage to your car.
Try to remember the entire even to the best of your ability, and maybe write down your thoughts before the police arrive, in case you forget important details in all this drama and kerfuffle.
You also will want to exchange information. Now, most of the time, the police will actually gather information on both of you during an investigation. However, if the entire crime scene is pretty light, and barely inspected, then you will most likely want to do this on your own. If there are any witnesses, you need to talk to them as well.
So, get their contact information, their name, and address. This includes all the parties in the accident, and any witnesses as well. Getting some insurance information from the other party can also be of use later on.
Call up your insurance company
Now, there are two calls you need to make. First, you, of course, need to get a good smash repair service underway. Either contact a company immediately and get an appointment or if the car is drivable, call them later. But, do not procrastinate, get it over with ASAP.
The other important call is your insurance company. Presenting them with the situation, and with as much information as you can, can greatly make the entire process simpler and easier. It will allow you to get some funds and claims quicker, all the while showing you what options you can take in such trying times.
The last step in this guide is to simply protect yourself. Namely, even though you might feel fine, and you have no outward signs of distress, we still suggest you go and get a checkup by a doctor. This is vitally important since it can help prevent any possible trauma, and protect you from internal bleeding if it so happened that you suffer from it.
You also want to lawyer up. Either contact some kind of legal representative or have them weigh in on the issue or actually get ready to file a lawsuit if things are truly so bad.
Car accidents are no joke, but luckily, most of the time you won’t get hurt at all. Still, navigating the entire situation properly is not easy, and we suggest you stick to the above game plan. So, are you and your passengers ok? Good, then take as many photos as you can. Call the police, and then call your insurance company. Finally, remember to protect yourself – get a lawyer ready, just in case.