Accidents can occur anywhere. If you meet with an accident, you probably won’t even know what you should do next. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you should do if you have met an accident:
Make sure that nobody is hurt
The first thing that you should do is to check whether you or any other person involved in the crash are safe. Check yourself and other passengers if anyone has had an injury. Call 911 and ask for help, if you find even the slightest of injuries.
Analyze the situation
The next thing that you should do is, check your surroundings. Is your car leaking gas or smoking? You won’t want to be near your car in such a scenario. Take your car to a safe site and turn on the hazard lights, cautiously. Call for the emergency services right away.
Calm down and think it through
This isn’t the time to argue who is at fault. The priority is to be safe. Think clearly. Make it a point to not run away from the scene. Calm down. Think clearly. Can your car be driven? What’s the damage status? Are there any other persons injured or in need of help? Control your emotions. Don’t be contrite or angry, whoever may be responsible. This is not your job to determine who is responsible.
Inform the police and file a report
No matter whatever may happen. Do not panic and run away. Call the police and narrate your part of the story. Do not try to establish anything, as it may get you in way more trouble than anticipated. Just explain the facts. File a formal report and keep a copy of the report with you. You will need this report for your insurance claim and also for the court to decide who is responsible.
Get other party’s details
You need that information to make up your case. Get their license plate number, the driver’s personal details, and insurance number. Exchange information. It will help you settle the case with ease. Find out if the driver owns the car he was driving or is it somebody else’s. According to Jeffrey Preszler from PreszlerLaw.com, if you own a car that is in an accident, you may be responsible for damages, even if you weren’t the one driving. This is true for both the parties.
Document the scene
Nobody wishes to pay for someone else’s mistake. Record the scene. Use your phone to take pictures of your car from all sides. Do the same with the other vehicles also. Make sure you are not paying for any damage caused before or after the accident. These documents will be needed by your insurance company as well. Get details of any and all property and vehicle damages caused. Be a responsible citizen.
Visit a doctor
Even the slightest of scratches can hurt days after the crash. Get a thorough check up consulted with your doctor. Get the necessary treatment. Your doctor may ask you for your motor vehicle insurance. As in most states, if met with an accidental injury in a car crash, the treatments are to be covered by your motor vehicle insurance. Make sure you are keeping a record of your treatment.
Claim your insurance
You wouldn’t want to bear the repair costs, or would you? It is wiser to contact your insurance agent/company at the crash site. A representative will have to check upon the damages incurred during the crash. They might take a few clicks of the scene and your vehicle to make your case and proceed with it. Give them a copy of the police report you’ve filed. They’ll need it to proceed your claim legally.
Get your car repaired
Your insurance company may suggest you a few body shops to get your car repaired. It is up to you where you wish to get it done. You can choose from the approved repair shops or some shop that you prefer. Make sure you proceed after you are paid for your repairs against your insurance.
Organize your documents
Parties have the right to file a lawsuit in a few years after the crash. Make sure you have all your documents and records with you. Including all your reports and claim documents and your medical expenses and other bills. Organizing your documents will help you dodge any potential blows years later.
Being a responsible citizen you should take responsibility in a situation such as this. Running away from the crash site can get you charged for hit and run. Most importantly, be cautious while driving. Your safety and that of the others on road is in your hands.