A car accident can be an unexpected, stressful and terrifying event. But, there are important steps to take when you are involved in an accident. Below are essential tips for handling an accident, and steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS TO HAVE WITH YOU
Accidents often happen out of nowhere. Not having the necessary information in your vehicle with you can worsen an already tough situation. Make sure to carry the following in your vehicle at all times:
- Your valid driver’s license
- Current insurance information
- Valid vehicle registration
You should also consider storing an emergency survival kit in your vehicle. This can include items such as a vehicle escape tool, first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, portable cell phone battery, toolkit, and roadside visibility reflectors. Having important documents ready and a vehicle survival kit helps you be prepared and has many advantages for dealing with the aftermath of an accident.
KEEP YOUR COOL
If the accident was caused by another driver, chances are you will feel frustrated and angry. While these are natural emotions in this instance, it is extremely important to remain calm. Refrain from yelling at, accusing and confronting the other driver. Remember that accidents are a huge inconvenience for all involved. Blaming other drivers involved can make it difficult to deal with them when you need to obtain their contact and insurance information. Also, if you lose your cool in this situation, you may not have the awareness and clarity needed when you speak with the police and possibly emergency responders to ensure the accident aftermath is handled properly.
ENSURE THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Immediately after an accident, safety should be your number one priority. First, check yourself for any injuries. You may be in shock or in a daze, so try to calm down and check your body very carefully. Check with passengers in your vehicle, and also those in the other vehicles involved. You should even ensure the safety and well-being of the person who caused the accident. They could have suffered a serious injury and need urgent medical attention. If someone is hurt, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
CONTACT THE POLICE
ALWAYS CALL THE POLICE. Even if it is a minor accident, ensure everyone is safe and then call the police. It is very important to make sure there is an official accident report. This will help later if you need to bring an injury claim. The police will request to see your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and up-to-date vehicle insurance information.
OBTAIN OTHER DRIVERS’ INFORMATION
While you wait for the police to arrive, start gathering information from the other drivers involved. The most critical information to get includes:
- Phone number
- Vehicle Make, Model and Year
- License Plate Number
- Insurance Company Name
- Insurance Policy Number
- The relationship of the driver to the owner of the car
TAKE PICTURES! Take pictures of the all vehicles involved, the intersection, and the other drivers if possible. Do not give out your social security number or sign anything unless asked by police.
DO NOT ADMIT GUILT OR APOLOGIZE
Avoid discussing fault with the other driver(s) involved. Even if you feel like you may have done something wrong, do not accept responsibility. Focus on gathering facts about the accident, and report it to the police. Collect the other party’s information and do not agree to anything. DO NOT agree to keep insurance companies from getting involved.
FOLLOW-UP WITH MEDICAL TREATMENT AS NEEDED
Sometimes, you will not feel pain immediately after an accident. You may be in shock, dazed, or confused. There will be a lot running through your mind and your worries may prevent you from immediately realizing whether you are hurt. Also, sometimes injuries from a car accident will not show symptoms immediately. It may take days or weeks after the accident to realize you were truly hurt. Even low impact collisions can result in very serious injuries. Injuries and symptoms can worsen if not properly treated.
Evaluate yourself from head to toe to determine if you are hurt. If you experience pain or recognize any symptoms, consider seeking medical treatment. Waiting until it’s too late to see a doctor or qualified medical professional may not only impact your health, but may adversely affect your rights to obtain insurance benefits for your injuries.
Let us help relieve the stress related to your accident.
Call Cohen Law Group at (407) 478-4878 today to speak to an attorney about your accident.