Driving is one of the easiest ways to travel – but doesn’t come without risk. Nearly 77% of drivers are involved in at least one car accident. On average, people are involved in 3 accidents during their lifetime.
The most likely times for car accidents to occur are in the evenings. Between 4 and 6 pm, people rush down the highway eager to be home after a stressful day at work.
To avoid a car accident – take these precautions:
- Limit any distractions while you’re driving
- Pay attention to traffic signs on the road
- Remember to adhere to all traffic laws
- Drive defensively – keeping an eye out for reckless drivers
- Don’t drive if you’re tired, impaired by drugs, or used alcohol recently
- Always wear a seatbelt.
10 Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident
Even if you take all these precautions, you might still be involved in some type of vehicle accident.
What should you do if an accident happens?
First, don’t panic!
Second, follow these ten steps to protect yourself and get the right help.
1. Check for Personal Injuries
If you’re in an accident, stay in place long enough to check your body for any serious injuries.
Look for bleeding, major bruising, numbness, or tingling in any part of your body. Those might be signs of a more severe injury. If you suspect a serious injury, immediately call 911 or ask a bystander to call.
2. Check for Injuries on Anyone Else
Once you’ve assessed that you’re free to move, check on your passengers. Ask them questions to gauge their responsiveness and look for signs of serious injury.
If everyone in your vehicle is assessed, you can move on to the other vehicle’s passengers.
3. Call for Medical Help
You only need to call for immediate medical help if you think anyone might be experiencing a medical emergency. Most fender benders don’t require an ambulance on scene, so you can skip this step if no one is seriously hurt.
4. Move to Safety
Your safety is the top priority at this point. If the accident took place in the middle of a busy highway, try to move the vehicles out of the way.
If you can’t move the cars, you can use flares and your car’s emergency lights to alert other drivers of the accident.
If your cars are already out of the way, try not to touch the scene – so it remains intact.
5. Call the Police
Now it’s time to call the police.
Some locations require you to call the police. Even if it isn’t the law, having the police involved is always a good idea. They can be the mediator between you and the other driver.
6. Document the Scene
As you wait for the police to arrive, begin documenting the scene. Here are a few items that you should record:
- Details of the accident (date, time, location)
- Pictures of all vehicle damage
- Pictures of any physical injuries
- The other driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information
- Names of any witnesses to the accident
Avoid talking to the other driver too much until the police have arrived. Especially avoid apologizing because lawyers could use that as an admission of fault in a court of law.
7. Meet with the Police
Once the police arrive, share the information you learned with the police. Tell them in as great detail as possible what happened in the accident so your statement is on file.
Even though the police are on the scene, continue your records so you have the information documented for your insurance company and lawyer.
8. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Before leaving the scene, call your insurance company. That way, your insurance company can let you know of any additional information you may need to file a claim.
9. Call a Tow Truck
Once you’ve completed all the other steps, you can call a tow truck to get your car. If your car runs and is safe, you can drive your car instead.
You may still want to go to a nearby garage just to double-check that your car is ok to drive before taking it home. Keep the garage records with your other accident records.
10. Follow Up with a Doctor
Once you’re safely home, contact your doctor to set up an appointment right away. You want to make sure you don’t have any hidden injuries. Sometimes injuries don’t present themselves until a few days later.
Look for these signs of a possible injury:
- Unexplained bruising
If you experience any of those symptoms, see a doctor right away.
Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Car accidents are a terrifying experience, but you don’t need to handle the follow-up alone. Take all the documentation you gathered during the accident and meet with a personal injury attorney.
An attorney will look over your documents and let you know if you need to pursue legal action. They will also be by your side if the other party involved in the accident tries to sue you. Navigating through legal proceedings while you are dealing with property damage and legal issues isn’t something you should have to shoulder on your own. Working with an auto accident lawyer will take the stress off of you so you can focus on more important things.
Always remember to stay safe on the roads!
Thank you for reading!