No one wants to be involved in a car accident. There are many different challenges that can be faced as the result of an accident, from physical and emotional harm to financial loss. If you do find yourself in a wreck of some kind, it is important that you understand the steps you should take in the moments following the incident. Your actions in the first few minutes after a crash can have a big impact on the long-term ramifications of this event.
Use the following tips to make smart decisions after you are involved in an accident.
You are naturally going to be running on high emotions in the moments immediately following the crash. The first thing you should do is attempt to calm down and assess the situation rationally. Are you hurt, or is anyone else hurt? If so, the obvious next step is to call for emergency assistance. Also, if your vehicle is still in the roadway, make sure that traffic has stopped around you before getting out.
Call the Police
It will be necessary to call the police if you are involved in a serious crash of any kind. While you might be able to sort out a minor ‘fender-bender’ by simply exchanging information with the other driver, you should bring in the authorities if serious damage has been caused. A formal police report can be extremely helpful when the insurance companies get involved to figure out who was at fault and who should pay for the damage.
Speak with Witnesses
If you don’t believe that you are at fault for the accident, speak with witnesses when possible to get their version of the events. Ask for names and phone numbers of witnesses who may be able to help you tell your side of the story later on. Having just one witness on your side can make all the difference when trying to sort out the facts later on.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After the ‘dust has settled’ and the immediate moments after the incident have passed, you will want to notify your insurance company that there has been an accident. When asked questions about the incident, always tell the truth. You might be tempted to skew the information in your favor, but the truth is going to come out in the end. The best thing you can do is be honest and forthright throughout the process.