Nothing can shake you up more than being involved in a car accident. But knowing what to do after a car accident can make all of the difference. These car accident tips will help you prepare before an accident ever happens and inform you of what to do should you be involved in one. Follow these traffic accident tips and be sure that no matter what happens, you’re covered.
Assemble an Accident Emergency Kit
Before you ever have to deal with an accident, assemble an emergency car accident kit to help minimize any issues in the event of an accident. You should always have a cell phone with local law enforcement numbers programmed in it; if your phone doesn’t have a built-in camera, keep a disposable camera in the kit. Other items you should include are: a pen and paper to write down important details, all insurance information including contact numbers and policy numbers, all medical information including conditions and allergies in case of a serious injury, and flares to alert oncoming traffic to the accident scene.
Keep Safety First
The first thing you need to take care of after a car accident is the health and safety of yourself and anyone else in the vehicle. Check for any injuries; if anyone is seriously hurt, call 911 to seek immediate medical attention. Make sure everyone else keeps their seatbelts on to avoid further injury until the medics arrive.
If the injuries are minor or non-existent, carefully move your car to the side of the road to avoid another collision with traffic. If the car cannot be moved from the car accident scene, put on your hazards and/or use flares to alert oncoming traffic.
Call the Proper Authorities
Call the police first to get them to the car accident scene as fast as possible. When you are finished with the police, call your car insurance company. Find out what your insurance covers, such as towing, and ask whether to file a claim through them or pursue a liability claim against the other party. Stay on the line with them until they have all of the information they need and have informed you of the proper steps to take.
Document the Car Accident Scene
Before moving any vehicles, take pictures of all angles of the car accident scene to document the details for later use. Write down important details so that you remember them later, and then exchange information with the other party, including: insurance information, car make, model, license plate number and state, and the other party’s license number and state of issue. Secure the names and numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
Do not discuss details of the accident with the other party or their insurance company, and do not admit fault to the accident. Stick to exchanging factual information, and save the details for your insurance company and the police.
Get a Report
When the police arrive, make sure you file an accident report. Ask for a written report, and get the report’s identification number for future reference. Make sure you do not admit fault, just stick to the facts. Don’t leave the scene until all information has been exchanged, reports have been filed, everyone is taken care of, and the police release you from the scene.