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Getting in a car accident doesn’t mean you’re a lousy driver. Unfortunately, even the slightest distraction can cause a collision. Regardless of who is at fault, car accidents can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. If you find yourself in this situation, knowing what to do when you get in a car accident can help you handle the situation with greater confidence and minimize the impact of the incident.
So, what do you do first when you get in a car accident? Do you call the police, check on everyone involved, or call a car accident lawyer? The most important thing is to remain calm. If you’re in a state of panic, you can make some wrong decisions.
We created a list of things you should and shouldn’t do when in a car accident. Take a look and memorize all the steps. Hopefully, you won’t need to put them to practice, but it’s good to know them nonetheless.
Steps You Need to Take When You Get in a Car Accident
Before you begin searching for “car accident lawyers in my area,” there are more important things to do. Below, you can see the steps you should take if you’re involved in a minor car accident.
Check Yourself and Your Passengers for Injuries
No matter how small the accident may seem, even minor collisions can cause injury to sensitive parts of our body, like the spine and neck. So, before you get out of the vehicle, make sure you and your passengers are uninjured. If you’re not sure, call 911 right away.
Move to Safety
Move the vehicles to the side of the road if they aren’t too badly damaged to avoid blocking traffic. You can check in on the other driver and see if they require assistance.
Call 911 and Wait for Help to Arrive
Even if it’s just a fender bender, you need to call 911. After contacting 911, turn off the engine, turn on the hazard lights, and wait for them to come.
If the help doesn’t arrive soon, look up “police stations near me,” go there, and fill out the report.
After making sure no one is injured and calling the police, you should exchange information with the other driver. Here are the details you should get:
- Full name and contact info;
- Insurance company and policy number;
- Driver’s license and plate number:
- Color, model, and type of vehicle;
- Location of the accident.
Document the Accident
Use your phone to take photos, identify the officers on the scene, get a copy of the report, take down all the names, and talk to witnesses, if there were any. All the information you gathered can help later when you speak to a car accident lawyer or the insurance company.
Notify the Insurance Company
People usually wonder whether to contact and tell their insurance company about the accident, especially if it was minor. Here are our two cents — call your car insurance carrier in any case. Even if the car accident wasn’t your fault and the car hadn’t suffered any damages, you need to contact them.
If you don’t wish to make a claim on the policy, you can simply inform the insurer about the accident for notification purposes.
Talk to an Attorney
Handling any car accident reports and dealing with insurance can be exhausting and time-consuming. If you feel like you need help, contact a lawyer for your accident claim and ask for advice. They can help you with all the heavy-lifting and sort out all the details.
If you’re not familiar with anyone specializing in this field, ask around or simply google “car accident lawyer near me”.
What Not to Do in a Minor Car Accident
Emotions run high, and things can get heated quickly, even in a minor collision. However, it’s vital to stay calm and composed; otherwise, you can do something you’ll regret.
Avoid Roadside Negotiations
Even if the car accident isn’t your fault, never promise the other driver that you won’t make the insurance claim or involve the police. Always consult a lawyer for car accidents before agreeing to anything.
Don’t Leave the Scene
The worst thing you can do is leave the scene. We know that people do unreasonable things in a state of panic; however, running away from the accident site can have severe consequences, including criminal charges.
In conclusion, knowing what to do when you get in a car accident can make a big difference in how you handle the situation and protect yourself. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can stay safe, gather important information, and take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights.
Remember to stay calm, call for help if needed, and seek medical attention if necessary. With these tips in mind, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident with greater confidence and peace of mind.