We spend hours a week in our car going from place to place, running errands, and living our lives. In a way, our vehicles become something of our second homes. It’s easy to feel comfortable and relaxed there.
However, getting behind the wheel of an automobile can bring on more risk than we like to think. Car accidents are incredibly common. They are so common, in fact, that it almost assured that you will be in one yourself at one point in your life.
Do you know what to do after a car accident? It can be hard to think straight after such a shocking incident, but the steps you take immediately following a collision can greatly impact your future.
Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
Safety Above Everything Else
The collision has happened and you’re likely sitting in your vehicle in a state of shock. Your mind is coming back to you, just slightly — what do you do?
First and foremost, you need to ensure the safety of yourself and anyone else in your vehicle. That means thoroughly checking to see if you are injured or if any of the passengers in your car have sustained injuries.
You’ll want to check closely. Even if you feel fine, you have a lot of adrenaline pumping through your body after an accident. Adrenaline has the effect of masking pain. It’s very easy to be injured, even seriously injured, and not realize it until your body calms down.
If someone in your vehicle has been injured, you should call emergency services right away and ensure they are sending someone to your location. If no one has been hurt, your next move should be to get your vehicle out of the way of further danger.
If you are able to, drive your car off the freeway and towards the side of the road. This will prevent oncoming cars from hitting you and causing further damage.
If you are unable to move your vehicle, make sure your hazards are on. If you can, you might want to light a flare and leave it outside your vehicle to ward off oncoming vehicles.
Once you’ve ensured the safety of yourself and your vehicle, check on the status of those in the car with which you’ve had an accident. If they need emergency services, call right away.
If they aren’t, go ahead and call the police to report the accident.
Collect Evidence For Later
As you wait for the police to arrive, you’ll have a big task to keep yourself busy: collecting evidence. Car accidents can be extremely expensive.
The damage done to your vehicle, as well as the cost of medical care for any injuries you’ve sustained, can be extremely high. It’s important that you get the true compensation amount that you deserve.
In order to do that, you’ll need to have evidence to support your claims. There is no better time to get your hands on that evidence than in the moments immediately after your accident when it’s all there in front of you.
Luckily, everyone now has a camera in their pockets so getting this evidence recorded is easier than it’s ever been. Simply pull out your phone and snap shots of both vehicles as well as their position in relation to one another.
If you or anyone in your vehicle has been injured, attempt to capture that in a photo as well. All of this will be important to have when you reach out to attorneys to take your case on later.
In addition, if there are witnesses to the accident around, you’ll want to take down their information in order to contact them later. If they are willing, go ahead and record their perspective on events while it is still fresh in their mind.
Last but not least, you’ll want to get a copy of the police report from the officer who arrives at your case. The police report is often an important piece of evidence in a car accident case as it represents an unbiased, third-party view.
Avoid Incriminating Yourself
This has more to do with what NOT to do following an accident but it’s just as important as any other information covered here.
The last thing you want to do at the scene of an accident is to incriminate yourself in any way. Do what you can do to avoid taking fault for the accident. Your words can be used against you later on.
Even if you think you might be responsible for the accident, avoid saying so at this juncture. Avoid apologizing to the other driver, which can be seen as an admission of guilt. You do not have all the information you might need at this time.
You might think you’re guilty only to find out that the other driver had sped through a red light and that’s the true reason that the collision occurred. If you had taken the blame already in this scenario, it would make it much harder for you to get the compensation that you deserve later on.
Things To Do After a Car Accident
No one wants to find themselves as part of a collision, but sometimes it can be unavoidable. It’s important that you understand what to do after a car accident to ensure you will be well protected in the future. Failure to do so can put your health and financial stability at stake.
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