A car accident can be a very traumatic experience, and no matter the scale of the accident, you are likely to be left feeling very shaken. With so many different emotions and stress chemicals rushing through your system you are unlikely to be able to think particularly clearly or rationally. Knowing how to act after you have been in a car accident is imperative, as it can help you stay safe and take the actions you need to be able to receive the full compensation you are due.
1. Check for Injuries
The first step you need to take after you have been in a car accident is to check for injuries and danger. You should check every in your party to ensure that no one in your car has sustained any injuries. If anyone has suffered a serious injury, you should call an ambulance. Assess your current situation to identify whether your car is in a safe position. You might need to move your vehicle out of immediate danger. This might involve moving your car out of the way of traffic, to the side of the road, or a sidewalk. You should then turn off your car and put your hazard lights on.
2. Call the Police
In some states, it is a legal requirement for you to call the police after an accident, even if the accident was only minor and no parties sustained injuries. You should collect the details of anyone that you speak to as this might prove useful when you are making a claim.
3. Exchange Insurance Information
You will then exchange insurance information with all other parties that have been involved in the accident. You should try and keep your conversations with other parties as minimal as possible to avoid admitting any fault or getting into a heated conversation.
4. Gather Evidence
Next, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible. This can prove very useful when you are making your insurance claim. The evidence you might gather after a car accident includes:
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Records of the weather, time of day, road conditions, location, traffic
- Photographs of the cars, road conditions, and scene of the accident
5. File Your Insurance Claim
According to Horst Shewmaker, you should file your insurance claim as soon as possible after your car accident. There are a few reasons why you should act fast when filing an insurance claim. Firstly, the sooner you inform your insurance company, the better the chances of receiving the highest settlement. Acting quickly also reduces the chances of you facing further delays down the line. Informing your insurance company quickly will also provide you with peace of mind as you are confident that there is an expert out there fighting for your case.
Being in a car accident can be very serious, but that does not mean that the repercussions of a car accident need to dictate the rest of your life. Knowing what to do and how to act after you have been in a car accident will ensure that you are in the best position possible to move on with your life.