You may have been in a minor car accident at some point in your life. If not, you may worry that, given the law of averages, a car crash is only a matter of time.
All you can do is drive safely and watch out for the other guy. If you ever become the victim of a car accident, here is a refresher on the steps you should take once your nerves settle down.
1. Check for injuries
Your first task is to check yourself for injuries. Assuming you are OK, check the status of others, your passengers as well as everyone in the other car. If anyone requires medical assistance, call 911 to summon help.
2. Move your car to safety
If it is safe to do so, move your car out of the way of traffic. If you cannot move it, turn on your hazard lights so oncoming vehicles can see you clearly and avoid the crash scene.
3. Make calls
Call the police. Even if the accident is a minor fender-bender, you will want a copy of the police report, which will be useful when the time comes to file a claim for insurance compensation. While you wait for the police to arrive, call your attorney and report the accident.
4. Gather and share information
Be sure you get driver and passenger names and contact information. Get similar information for bystanders who witnessed the accident. Write down the makes and models of all vehicles and where the accident happened. Use the camera function on your cellphone to take pictures of vehicle damage, license plate numbers and the accident scene itself. This information, along with the police report, will be helpful to your attorney during negotiations on your behalf for a full and fair insurance settlement.
5. See your doctor
Even if you believe you did not sustain any injuries, see your doctor promptly. Some injuries, such as a concussion, may not show up immediately. You can add the medical report to the other information you collected and feel proud of yourself for taking the proper steps following a vehicle crash.