Car accidents are stressful, and even those who drive carefully and defensively are not immune to these incidents. The first time you get into an accident, you can feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do.
Therefore, these are specific steps you should take if you get into a motor vehicle accident.
First, take a few minutes to breathe. Calm your heart rate and head. Focus on the moment. When you have calmed, observe your surroundings and search yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you can, move your vehicle off the road and into a safe area, but do not leave the scene. Then, get out of your vehicle and stand to the side as you call the police.
Start taking photos of the crash scene and surrounding bystanders. Photograph the vehicles, including their license plates and damages, involved in the incident. Write down what occurred from your point of view. Gather witness statements and contact information. The beauty of technology is that you can now videotape these statements.
When you can, get a copy of the police report. Collect the contact and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident. Do not share details about the accident with your insurance company or the police from your point of view to avoid admitting any level of fault.
Get checked out
If you received an injury in the accident, get checked out on the scene by the EMTs. Otherwise, go to the hospital or to your GP. Some injuries do not show up right away because your adrenaline may mask them. Follow your doctor’s treatment suggestions exactly. Gather your medical bills and keep them with your other documents.
To protect yourself financially and physically, follow these steps if you get into an accident.