If you’re suddenly involved in a car accident, it can be shocking and distressing. One minute you’re going along thinking about nothing in particular, the next you have to deal with the aftermath of a collision. It is sometimes not possible to prevent an accident, but you can have a plan of action and stick to it if such a situation occurs. Here are the eight steps that you should remember.
Check to See If You’re Hurt
Check for injuries to yourself and any of your passengers. If everyone in your vehicle is okay, you should see if the other driver is alright, assuming that it was another vehicle that you hit.
Your adrenaline might be through the roof if you’ve just been involved in an accident, regardless of whether you were the one at fault. Try to take a few deep breaths and center yourself before you engage with the other driver. Do not lose your temper, and under no circumstances should you raise your voice, even if the other party does so. If you find that the other driver is irate, disengage from them and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Call the Police
The police must be informed if you have been involved in an accident, as they will need to file a report. If they are already on their way, there is no need for you to call. If you are in a rural area, you will almost certainly have to use your cell phone to make sure the authorities are coming, or you can have the other party do it if you don’t have a phone.
Get Your Car Off the Road
If it is possible to drive your car safely, try to get it out of the road so that traffic can get by. Don’t attempt to pick up any debris from the accident, though. The most critical thing is for you to be safely out of traffic while you deal with the police and the other driver.
Exchange Insurance Information
You should then exchange insurance information with the other party. If they don’t have insurance, be sure to at least get their plate number and their name.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as it’s convenient to do so, you should contact your insurance company and give them a report of what happened. Omit nothing that you think is important, and tell the truth. You don’t want to be dishonest, even if you were the one at fault.
File a Claim
You’ll now need to file a car accident claim. Your insurance company will have forms on their website that you can print out. You should mail the completed forms without delay. The quicker you do it, the quicker you can put this business behind you.
Hire a Law Firm
If you feel like you need legal help at this juncture, you can contact the Derrick Law Firm or a similar group of attorneys that are experienced with helping accident victims. You should do this if the other driver seems to be attempting something unconventional or devious.
Car accidents are no fun, but if you stay calm and follow each of these steps, you should be able to come out of the experience okay. You’ll be able to resume your life, and you’ll gain some valuable experience in dealing with adversity.