When you’ve just been in a car accident, the shock and adrenaline might cause you to forget the proper procedure for how you should respond in this type of situation. Especially if the car accident has caused a lot of damage, either to your car or to yourself, it’s completely normal to continue functioning without really thinking about what you’re doing. So to help ensure that you’re able to take care of this situation appropriately, here are three things you should remember to do right after you’ve been in a car accident.
Stop Your Car
No matter how big or small the accident has been, Aaron Crowe, a contributor to WiseBread.com, shares that you should always stop your car. Even if you’ve had an accident that doesn’t involve another vehicle or involves a vehicle that’s stopped or vacant, you still need to stop so you can better assess the situation. To keep yourself safe, make sure you put on your hazard lights and set up any flares if they’re available to you.
Don’t Admit Responsibility
Regardless of what happened during the accident or what you think might have taken place, Mila Araujo, a contributor to The Balance, advises that you never admit responsibility for the accident. Not only could implying that you’re responsible make it harder during the investigation phase of your accident, but your car insurance carrier likely has made a stipulation in your contract that you’re never to admit any fault before there’s been resolution made on your case.
Check If Anyone’s Injured
Once you’ve stopped your vehicle and gotten out of your car to speak with the other passengers or the driver of the involved vehicle, you should check to see if anyone’s been injured in the accident. If there are minor injuries, see what you can do about them before emergency medical help arrives. If the injuries you see are major, Araujo recommends not trying to move anyone or anything unless there’s an immediate danger, like of a fire or explosion.
Call The Police
After you’ve seen whether or not anyone involved has sustained immediate injuries, the next thing you should do is call the police. According to Geoff Williams, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, calling the police will help ensure that all the legal reports get filed and that the right statements are made and recorded appropriately. And if there was an injury that needs medical attention, calling 911 can get the right people sent your way as well.
Report Information To The Right People
When the police have arrived and made their report and you’ve documented anything that you’ve deemed to be important information, Williams shares that you should then give that information to the right people. This includes calling your insurance carrier and potentially an attorney if you think it necessary.
To help you keep your wits about you after you’ve just been in a car accident, consider pondering the above mentioned steps in the event that you have a collision while on the road.