Nobody ever expects (or wants ) to get in an accident. An unexpected car accident can leave you feeling a bit scattered. Let’s hope that you’ll never have to experience this stressful situation. But, being prepared for it just in case will help you stay calm if you are involved in one. Brush up on post-accident procedures now, when you’re good and calm. Take these 7 steps to help make the moments after an accident less stressful, not to mention going through the claims process a whole lot smoother.
1. Move to a safe area
You don’t want to cause another accident while trying to deal with the first car accident. If it’s safe to do so and you are able to, move your car out of further harm’s way, like to the shoulder of the road. If your car is too banged up, and moving your car just isn’t possible, flip on your hazards or if you have flares, put them out as well to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
2. Stop your vehicle and get out
After you have moved your car (if possible), make sure your car is no longer moving, shift into park, turn off the engine, and set the hand brake. Take a moment to catch your breath, then access the area. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door. Stand in a safe area away from the scene, especially if it is on a highway.
3. Check to see if others are hurt
If this is a multiple car accident, check on all the other parties involved. Check drivers, passengers, and pedestrians nearby if involved, to make sure no one is hurt.
4. Call the police
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report needs to be taken. This can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. You never know if stories are changed afterwards and all need to be protected. Call 911 for sure if anyone is hurt. You might think you aren’t that injured because usually, people may not feel injuries due to their adrenaline sky rocketing. Even a seemingly minor injuries like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional. Cooperate fully, but do not admit fault or blaming others while at the scene. 5. Gather info
5. Gather info
You Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance info
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Location of the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
6. Document the scene
If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene. They’ll come in handy during the claim process. You’ll need it for your car accident attorney in tampa if you need legal help fighting it.
7. File your insurance claim
Contact your insurance asap. If you aren’t sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.