We aren’t always prepared for the worst. The reality is that we spend 6% of our waking hours driving in vehicles.
This is one of those circumstances when both you and your teenage children need to be fully aware of what to do in a worst-case scenario.
If you’ve already been in an accident and are wondering what the next steps are, we suggest talking to a personal injury lawyer to ensure you are protected.
Otherwise, here are the first steps to take when you get into a car accident.
- Check Yourself and the Passengers for Injuries
Getting into an accident can be incredibly frightening. Take a deep breath and check yourself for any injuries. Then, check-in with the other passengers in the vehicle to make sure they’re safe.
If someone is injured and immobile, it’s best to avoid moving them until the emergency medical team arrives. Moving someone could potentially do more harm than good, depending on the severity of their injuries.
Unless they’re in immediate danger, such as the car is on fire, leave the care for any and all injuries to the professionals.
- Get Out of the Vehicle To Somewhere Safe
Next, you’ll want to exit the vehicle and get to somewhere safe. If you’re able to move the vehicle out of the middle of an intersection without putting yourself or someone else in danger, this could help to avoid further collisions to happen.
- Call 911
If it’s a minor accident that happened in a parking lot, you may be able to address the situation and come to a resolution with the other party involved. However, if it’s a major accident, you should always contact 911.
- Exchange Information
After the authorities have been called, find out if the other passengers are safe. If everyone is okay, this is the time to exchange all of the necessary information, including:
- Full Name
- Contact Details
- Insurance Company Details and Policy Number
- Driver’s License
- Plate Number
- Make, Model, Year, and Color of the Vehicle
- Exact Location and Time of the Accident
Not only will you be receiving this information from the other driver, but you’ll be providing your details as well. This is necessary for the insurance companies to assist with any claims that will be put through. It would also be helpful to get the names and contact details of the other passengers involved.
- Document the Accident
Another element your insurance company will need is proper documentation of the accident. This includes any photos and videos of both vehicles, as well as any property damage surrounding the accident.
If there are witnesses around the accident willing to give a statement, you can gather those details as well, including their full name and contact details.
- Give Your Report to the Authorities
By this time, the authorities will have arrived on the scene. They need to file a police report, which will require you to provide details about the accident. This is another requirement when filing a claim with your insurance company.
Even if there is not another party involved, such as a hit and run accident, you’ll still need to file a police report.
- Call Your Insurance
Once you’re home safe, you’ll want to contact your insurance company. The state where the accident took place will determine how long you have to file your claim. However, it’s strongly recommended that you file the claim with your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Contact an Attorney
Depending on the severity of the car accident and the injuries involved, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. They will represent you, pursue compensation, and protect your assets.