How often do you drive your car? If you’re like most Americans, you probably get behind the wheel a few times a day. Between commuting to work, running out for lunch, and dropping the kids off at soccer practice, you spend a lot of time in your car.
You always think a serious car accident won’t happen to you, but there were 40,000 fatal car crashes in the United States in 2017 alone. Of course, there are far more crashes that occur than this. Take into account fender benders, parking lot swipes, and crashes that cause injury? Well then you’re left with a lot of traffic accidents.
There’s a good chance you’ll be involved in a car crash during your lifetime. It’s always scary to hear that metal-on-metal crunch. Knowing how to handle the situation can ease a lot of stress.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on what to do after a car accident.
Move Your Car
Is your car still drivable? If it’s safe and possible for you to do so, the first thing you should do is move your car to the side of the road.
If you leave your car in the middle of the street after a car accident, you could cause another collision. Drivers who don’t see your car soon enough may hit it or another car in an attempt to swerve out of the way. At the very least, it’ll cause an unnecessary traffic jam! Make sure you and your car are safely out of the road.
If your car is totaled and can’t be moved, you should call 911 before you do anything else. Follow the instructions given to ensure you stay safe while you wait for help to arrive.
If you or anyone else involved in the crash is injured or trapped in their car, you should call 911. Request an ambulance immediately. It’s important for you to get checked out right away if you suspect any injuries. Not only is this best for your health, but it could help a personal injury lawyer create a stronger case if you did sustain injuries and need to go to court.
Once you and the other driver are both out of harm’s way, it’s time to collect information. Exchanging insurance information, as well as their name and phone number, is an important step. You’ll need to do this to move forward with any insurance or legal claims work.
During this time, emotions and stress are probably running high. You may feel tempted to say things like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you,” but avoid this at all costs. Expressing guilt or admitting fault can be used against you later. Wait until the police are on scene and your adrenaline has calmed before talking about what happened in a calm manner.
Make Additional Calls
It’s important to remember that finding fault in a car accident can be a murky process. The police will take both sides of the stories, look at clues from the scene, and talk to witnesses; however, sometimes it’s a “he said, she said” situation.
Call your insurance company the next morning and file a claim. If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, call an accident attorney right away to discuss the next steps.
What to Do after a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident is a scary moment for anyone, but don’t leave yourself confused about the next steps. Just follow our guide to learn what to do in case of an accident.
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