It’s tough to keep a clear head after a jarring event such as a car accident, but by taking necessary steps you can help prevent further injury, make sure you’re following all the necessary laws and procedures, and be sure you’re complying with rules established by your insurance company. Read on for a step-by step list to help you get through any accidents you may have in the future.
7 Actions To Take Early
Step One: Check for Injuries
The first and most important thing to do is to check yourself and all passengers for injuries. If you are unsure, call an ambulance to be on the safe side. Keep in mind that concussions may not be an apparent injury but could cause more drastic issues down the line.
Step Two: Take a Few Quick Pictures
If possible, take a few pictures of the scope of the accident, the layout of the cars, and any serious damage that was done in case there is dispute between vehicle operators about whose fault the accident was.
Step Three: Move your Car to the Side of the Road
If the accident is minor, pull out of traffic and to the side of the road safely. Getting out of the road will help keep traffic moving and will make it easier for emergency personnel to reach you.
Step Four: Activate Warning Signals
Whether you are able to move the accident safely to the side of the road or you are stuck in the middle of the street, it’s a good idea to turn your hazards on, set up cones if you have them, and use warning triangles or flares to maximize your safety. Taking these simple precautions may be the difference between a minor accident and a messy pileup.
Step Five: Call the Police
It doesn’t matter if the accident was major or minor, you will need to notify police right away. The police will help hold the right parties accountable and make sure all documentation and information is exchanged fairly and appropriately.
Step Six: Take Statements
In addition to reviewing the situation aloud to yourself, make sure others who witnessed the accident stick around to give statements. The police typically own this process but many people may not be able to wait to give a statement, be sure to take phone numbers, names, and addresses for anyone needing to leave the scene of the accident.
Step Seven: Notify Your Insurance Company
As with notifying the police, you should notify your insurance company regardless of the severity of the accident. Doing so will help ensure you receive the full amount of financial support that your coverage allows. Read more here about what happens after with the insurance company.
Make Sure You Cover Your Bases
Drivers of vehicles involved in an accident should heed the advice on this list in order to keep a clear head during a very stressful time. By checking all involved for injuries, documenting the scene appropriately, moving the car to safety if the accident is minor, using hazards and any other safety equipment you can to increase others’ awareness of you, calling the police, taking witness statements, and notifying your insurance company, you will cover all necessary bases.