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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. Whether you’re responsible or not, car accidents can be extremely stressful, however small they may be.
So, what do you do first in situations like this? Do you call the police, check on everyone involved, 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
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
If the vehicles aren’t too damaged, move them to the side of the road to avoid blocking the traffic. There, you can check in on the other driver and see if they need any help.
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 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 auto 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.