What to do if Involved in an Accident
In seconds, you have gone from mindlessly travelling on your daily commute to experiencing one of the most frightening situations of your life. Being involved in an auto accident is a life-changing experience no matter the severity. The physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of a car wreck can be a tremendous strain on anyone. Assuming that you are not seriously injured, here is a basic checklist of things that you need to do if you are involved in a wreck.
How to Proceed
Call 911 or your local emergency services. Even if you’ve only been involved in a small accident, police will need to be present to file a police report.
Although you may not feel like you are injured, the initial adrenaline rush of being in a scary situation may be masking serious medical issues. It is best to stay inside your vehicle and remain still and calm until paramedics or police arrive.
If you are certain that you are not hurt, you need to make contact with any other drivers involved in the accident. Remember that they have just had a bad experience, too. This is no time for confrontation.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, try to gather as much information about the vehicle as you can before they flee the scene. Vehicle make and model, a description of the driver, license plate number, and notable features such as dents or customizations are very useful in tracking down the car.
Provide a detailed and truthful description of the accident to the police when questions. He or she needs to collect the facts to file a report. There is not need to fabricate or exaggerate.
Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. If your automobile insurance company has a local office, they may send an agent to the scene of the accident to collect data and information from the other driver.
Contact your loved ones. No one likes to hear about a family member or friend being involved in an accident. Contact a close relation and ask them to update the rest of your friends and family for you.
If it is necessary that your vehicle be towed from the scene of the accident, collect your personal belongings from your wrecked car, if safe, and arrange for someone to pick you up.
Keeping a level head and not over-exerting yourself are both very important immediately following an auto accident. There will be many people there to help you. Allow them to do their jobs so that you and the other drivers involved receive the necessary assistance.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Driving-Tests.org. He has been writing for beginner US drivers for several years.
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