Hundreds of car accidents occur every day. This is an issue that affects essentially everyone across the United States in one way or another. Even the most cautious drivers still tend to experience at least one accident during their lifetime. While many crashes are preventable, the sheer number of people on the road every day makes accidents inevitable. This makes understanding how to properly handle an incident very important even if you do not necessarily believe it will happen to you.
Check on everyone involved
Health is the most important thing following an accident. After you have collected yourself and ensured that you did not suffer any injuries, check on everyone else in your vehicle. If the passengers in your car are safe and secure, you can now move on to any other person involved.
Your goal is to make sure that anyone hurt receives proper medical care in a timely fashion. Alert the emergency medical professionals immediately before doing anything else if someone at the scene has suffered an injury.
Notify the authorities
After ensuring that everyone involved is safe and healthy, it is now time to notify the authorities. Even if you would categorize the crash as minor, it is still in your best interest to call the police to the scene. The responding officers can be extremely helpful in this situation.
They will fill out a report and take down information about the accident. If you are dealing with someone who is emotional or confrontational, the officer can also help mediate your conversation and exchange of information. The report that the police fill out will be crucial to any insurance claim that you decide to file in the future.
Document the incident
Before you leave the scene, make sure that you document the event yourself as well. This will give you the best chance to control the situation. Collect all the necessary information about the other people involved in the incident. This may include names, contact information, vehicle descriptions, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information.
It is also strongly encouraged that you make notes about the accident. Describe any damage done to your vehicle in as much detail as possible. If there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, try to speak with them about what they saw. Take photos of the scene if you have access to a camera.
Simply put, your goal is to collect as much evidence as possible for when you file an insurance claim or if a dispute arises. Keep all this information organized and readily available to make use of it when necessary.