No one expects to be involved in an accident. However, odds are, you may experience a few in your lifetime. Data from the car insurance industry pegs it at one accident every 18 years.
People are almost always in a daze after an accident. Whether it’s fear, injury, or just a blur, it’s hard to figure out what exactly to do after an accident and in what order. Taking the wrong steps can be costly. You may end up in court, worsen an injury or end up wrongfully paying damages. That is why it is crucial you know exactly what to do and who to reach out to just after an accident, even if it’s a mild one.
Here are five things you should do after an accident.
Right after an accident, you’d be tempted to freak out and be alarmed. That is counterproductive as you may end up raising your heart rate and making rash decisions.
Never drive away from an accident scene. Pullover, turn off your car and set up road flares and turn on your hazard lights to alert other road users.
Assess the Situation
Take stock of yourself, other occupants of the car. Find out if anyone has suffered an injury. The most common injuries include whiplash, concussion, followed by head injuries, abdominal injuries, and, in the long term, PTSD. Knowing the extent of damage will help you understand what first aid procedure to administer.
Do you smell smoke or the sensation of anything burning? Is there any fuel dripping? While you wait for help, move away a bit from the scene to avoid being caught in a fire explosion.
Call the Police
Even if it’s a minor accident, call the police. If it’s a severe situation, you may need to request an ambulance. You’ll need a police report if you’re going to make a valid claim for damages. In speaking to the police, be objective and factual. Avoid speculation and guesses, and don’t make the mistake of taking liability if you’re not too sure of exactly what happened.
Record Important Data and Contact Your Insurance Company
Write down what you remember about the accident and take pictures. From the details like time of the accident to license plate to the cars involved, take records of everything you can remember. This would serve you well when you go to make claims.
Also, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know. Some insurance companies have apps through which you can send data even before an agent gets to you.
Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of how you feel, head over to the nearest hospital, or call your doctor immediately. Not all injuries come with physical pain or discomfort. Some of the most severe injuries may show months later.
As a licensed driver, you should have a first aid kit and know a thing or two about it. Administering first aid before going to the hospital may just save a life.
In a Sum
As long as there are cars on the road and humans driving them, accidents are a given. It’s easy to get confused about what to do after an accident. That’s why knowing the steps to take right after a crash is critical. Listed above are five actionable tips to help you on a bad car day. Go through them to prepare for an event that, hopefully, you will not have to deal with.