What to Do if You’ve Been in an Auto Accident

Automobile accidents usually aren’t like the movies, where the hero can fall off of a cliff, roll over 10,000 times and then get up and walk away like nothing ever happened (looking at you, Fast and Furious). Auto accidents are serious issues that could leave you and your passengers in serious trouble.

You may already know about basic car safety, maintenance and what you should always have in your car with you, but are you prepared for an accident? Every year around the world, around 30 million people are involved in car accidents, and those are the ones that are reported.

Keep reading below to follow the steps of what you should do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Stop and Check Yourself

First and foremost, don’t drive away from an accident. Even if you were just in a minor fender bender, you could be arrested for leaving the scene. That’s a perfect way to take your situation from bad to worse.

If you can, move your car to the side of the road so you can get out of traffic’s way and lower the risk of getting hit again. If the car is goners, don’t worry about trying to move it.

While you’re doing this, you’ll want to do a routine check of the physical shape you’re in. Are you bleeding from anywhere? Can you tell if anything is broken? Does anything hurt? You might be running high on adrenaline before anything sets in, but be patient. Don’t be whipping your neck around to look at things if you think you might have been hurt. Don’t try and get out of the car and walk around if you think your leg might be messed up. Take your time.

If you or anyone else is hurt, call 911 immediately. Not just for the ambulance, but also for police to come out. They can help direct traffic and make an official report.

Insurance and Information

When you’ve calmed down, look around the scene and take notes or draw exactly what happened. This will help you much later in your insurance claim. If you’ve got your cellphone out, take pictures, as many as you can as well.

Exchange contact information with everyone else involved, from drivers and passengers to any potential witnesses. If the police are there, they may be already getting that information. If they’re not, at least make sure and get the driver’s information.

The Legal Hoops

Now that you’ve gotten all the information, it’s time to file an insurance claim. This may be a few hours later, but you’ll need to file it ASAP. They will walk you through the steps and everything that will be coming next. They’ll ask you for all the information you hopefully recorded and will do their best to help you get the situation straightened out.

If you are injured, it may be time to think about a personal injury lawyer. The other person could be liable for your injuries, and you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure you’re compensated. If you’re not sure, it’s always a great idea to go in for a consultation. Bring all the information you gave to your insurance company as it’ll help the lawyer determine if you have a case and what can be done about it.

In addition to going to your insurance and lawyer, check with your local DMV to see if you have to report your car being in an accident. Not every state makes this requirement, but it never hurts to double check and keep a watchful eye.

Fix Your Car

Your insurer will have mechanics in the area that work best with your insurance, so let them recommend you the best, and hopefully closest one. Once you have your repaired and road-worthy again, keep all the paperwork and files you have. If you’ve had to rent a car or be serviced to and from different spots, keep all those receipts.

The best thing you can do is leave a paper trail so long that someone can see it from the moon. It will help you in the long run and cover you from any potential claims in the future.

Speak Your Mind