A car accident is a very real possibility every time you hit the road. It could be a minor collision as you are backing out of your driver to a multiple-car pile-up on the highway. It therefore makes good sense to be ready for one, and that includes keeping these top three priorities in mind after a car accident.
Ensure the safety of everyone
If it is a minor car-and-car accident with no one injured, you can move your vehicles to the side of the road to prevent traffic build-up and other accidents, but take a quick picture with your phone before you do to capture the positions of the vehicles, especially if it was not your fault. This can help later if there is a dispute on whose fault it was.
If someone appears to be injured, call emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to move the injured person unless there is a threat to life or if you are a trained medical professional. Turn on your flashers, set out emergency reflectors or road flares if you have them, and wait for assistance.
If you are injured, keep calm and do not attempt to move. Call for help and explain that you are injured. Request for medical attention and concentrate on your breathing until paramedics arrive.
It is important to keep a record of everything that happens. If you have a video camera handy, even if it is just on your phone, use it. An audio recorder is the next best thing. Failing that, use pen and paper.
Take down the name, address, license number, registration and insurance information of the opposite party as well as any witnesses to the accident. This can come in handy later when you need to get corroboration.
Make sure that the police officer is given the correct version of events, takes pictures, and makes a sketch of the scene of the accident if possible. Carefully note the accuracy of the details before signing off on it. Get a copy of the report.
If there was an injury to you or your passenger, keep all hospital and medical records and bills pertaining to the car accident. If you will ever need to claim for personal injury, these will be very important.
Contact your insurance company
Provide your insurer with as detailed an account as possible everything about the car accident
Don’t sign anything until you’ve had a chance to study the situation. You may be settling with your insurer to your disadvantage.
Being prepared for a car accident will ensure that you will not make any costly mistakes in handling the situation. You should always plan for the worst and hope for the best.