Needless to say, “Don’t panic” isn’t the easiest advice to follow after a car accident. Since whiplash is present in almost all car accidents, after it you will likely be dizzy, dazed, or enraged at someone for speeding into your vehicle. The priority is to keep calm and remind yourself of the steps that should be followed in these situations. Here’s what you need to do.
First, take a moment to determine whether you or anyone else is injured. Calling the police and ambulance to the scene is a good idea.
Medical services can provide the necessary assistance and identify any internal injuries that might not be visible on the surface. Moreover, the authorities will be able to obtain key information about the third party. They will also note the particulars of nearby witnesses.
It’s important to pay attention to injuries that may have been caused by a defective part in your car. Airbags, seatbelts, and tires are some of the primary components. An accident lawyer will help you receive proper compensation based on the defect.
If your car is still operational, move it off the road so that it doesn’t obstruct other motorists. This is crucial on high-speed motorways where approaching vehicles can become involved in the aftermath. Set up emergency triangles and maintain your distance from any potential sources of fire or explosions.
Depending on state laws, motorists are expected to provide certain details at the scene. Generally, you’ll only need to hand over your name and insurance information. It’s better to limit your interaction with the other drivers so that you don’t risk admitting guilt. Still, obtaining the following can help you later down the line:
- The other driver’s name and insurer
- Their contact details
- Licenses and plate numbers
- Vehicle colors and models
- Witness information
- Police report number and officer details
Remember to take photos or videos of the scene if possible. Even making notes or drawing a diagram that includes the direction in which the drivers were traveling will make a difference. If you use a dashcam, make sure that the footage is saved and accessible. Pay attention to any other evidence that may be useful, such as weather and faulty street lights.
Notify Your Insurer
Call your insurance company as soon as you can. If you have reason to believe that they won’t be willing to cover the accident, then you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer first. Don’t answer calls from the other driver’s insurance company, as they will likely want to obtain information from you that will help them win the case.
How the insurance process plays out depends on several factors, such as who was deemed to be at fault and the type of coverage you have. The other driver’s property damage liability should cover your repair bill, depending on policy limits. The same applies to medical bills.
Handling a car accident can be a daunting process. As long as you have the right steps in place, you’ll know what to do next and increase your chances of being compensated fairly.