If you have ever been in a car accident, you already know how overwhelming the situation can be. However, for drivers who have never been in one, you are probably feeling even more distress than you had imagined. Try not to panic, though. In order to make your way through the confusing time, it is important to remain calm so you can take the necessary procedures.
There may be a situation where there are severe injuries, personal losses, or even fatalities where it’s deemed as your fault. It’s important in these cases to hire a criminal defense lawyer who can help make sure you are represented accordingly. This is why following each of these steps is crucial.
Here are five steps to take when you have been in a car accident so you’re prepared in the event that it happens.
Check For Passenger Safety
Most importantly when a car accident occurs, ask to make sure you and everyone who is in the vehicle is hurt. If they are and they do not have the ability to move or walk, do not try to move them unless in immediate danger.
It’s important that the paramedics and emergency medical professionals take charge of the situation as to not cause any more damage to the person who is already hurt. Once you know they are safe, check on the other passengers in the other vehicle or vehicles involved.
Before making any other moves, make sure to call the authorities. They will provide police officers, as well as paramedics and potentially even the fire department, depending on the severity of the accident. It’s important that the authorities are present because they will need to run a proper report.
Move Vehicles Out of Harms Way
If possible, without endangering anyone in the process, move any vehicles that were involved in the car accident out of the road, any major intersections, and away from traffic. It is understandable if you are concerned with potentially tampering with any of the evidence that may be pertinent for the claim so you can take a photo of the scene prior. Immediately after is when you should move the vehicles. Safety is of course the number one priority in any accident.
Exchange Insurance and Contact Information
Once the issue has been addressed with the authorities, exchange all of your contact and insurance information with the other driver involved. This will be crucial in order to handle any claims through your insurance company.
You will want to obtain the following from the other driver:
- Insurance policy number
- Insurance company’s phone number
- Full name
- Phone number and address
As a safety tip, never share your social security number with anyone. This is not the information any individual person will need for the claim to properly be processed.
This is an important step of the process so make sure not to forget to exchange contact information. This is in case you need to get in touch with the other person in the future or there are issues that arise down the road.
Document the Scene
Documenting the scene is an important next step. In order to determine fault along with following through with the claim, an insurance company is going to need as much information and detail as possible.
Take both photographs as well as videos of your vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, and any property that may have been damaged. Documenting also includes getting statements from witnesses. While this is usually a job for the authorities, if there are other witnesses involved, you will want to gather contact information from them as it will be useful to your claim.
We know getting into a car accident can be scary. But if you follow these necessary steps and address the situation in a calm, collective manner, you will be able to get through it with no problem.