Every year, there are over 5 million car accidents in the US. This means that if you’re regularly on the road, there’s a good chance you may be involved in a car accident.
You can do everything in your power to prevent a vehicle collision, but there will always be things out of your control. So what you can do instead is be prepared to handle any incidents.
Here’s what to do after a vehicle collision so you can take all the right steps if you’re in one.
Get Somewhere Safe
If you’re able to, pull over to the side on the shoulder where it’s safe. Turn on your hazard lights so cars on the road know you’re stopped and won’t run into you should they need to pull over too.
If the vehicles aren’t operable, then turn on the hazard lights, put flares on the road, and walk to the shoulder if you can.
Check for Injuries
You should determine if anyone is injured. For serious injuries, call 911 immediately. In some states, you’ll have to call 911 regardless, as the law requires you to.
Get Information From All Parties Involved
Exchange information with all parties involved. You’ll want to take down their:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Insurance information
- Other contact information
If there are witnesses, it’s important to get their information too, as their testimony can be important later on. And if there are police officers on the scene, you’ll also want to get their names, badge numbers, police report number, and a copy of the report itself.
Take Pictures, Videos, and Notes
You’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures and videos of the auto accident scene, including the vehicles’ interiors and exteriors, as well as the road, destroyed objects, and injuries.
It can be traumatic, but it’s best to take detailed notes about the crash right after. That way, all the information is fresh and as accurate as possible.
File a Claim if Needed
If you’re at fault, then you don’t need to file a claim. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide whether you want to proceed with a claim.
Should you want to pursue legal action, then you might want to hire a lawyer. These car accident lawyers can help you through the complicated process so you don’t have additional anxiety. Also, they can be your advocate and make sure other parties don’t take advantage of you.
While you’ll have to pay to hire an attorney, it can be worth it in the end when you have maximum compensation and peace of mind.
Stay Safe if You’re in a Vehicle Collision
A vehicle collision can be scary. So it’s understandable if you panic and omit some steps after the crash.
But now that you know exactly what to do after one, there’s less of a chance that you’ll skip steps. And as a result, the process afterward will be much smoother and you won’t be as stressed out.
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