Accidents happen even to most careful drivers. If you have never been in an accident before, it can be overwhelming and hard to process what you are supposed to do. There are so many things to remember and to deal with that you might not know where to start. Here are a few things you can do, starting with right after the accident.
After an accident, it is vital to remain at the scene whether it’s a major or minor mishap. Leaving the scene before everything is properly dealt with will turn your ordinary accident into a hit-and-run, which carries some really serious consequences. If your car is in the middle of the road, you should move it to the side, but try and stay as close as possible to the place the accident originally occurred.
It can be easy to panic and to go into shock after an accident. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Check on any passengers that are in your car and make sure that they are okay as well. Remaining calm will help you make better decisions and you are less likely to say something that you will regret.
Regardless of how minor the accident is, you should make sure that you talk to the police before you leave the scene of the accident. You aren’t legally required to answer all their questions, but it is a good idea to be respectful and cooperate as much as possible. They are just trying to figure out what happened and help you and the other driver. You should also make sure that you give the other driver all the information they need about your insurance. Refusing to do so isn’t going to help you and it could actually come back to hurt you.
Call Your Insurance Company
After an accident, it is important that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They are the ones who will reimburse you for the repairs on your car and your medical bills or get the money from the other driver’s insurance company, but they can’t do that if they don’t know about the accident. During the phone call, they will take your statement and start gathering information about what happened during the crash. You may need approval from your insurance company to do certain repairs, so the sooner you open a claim, the sooner you can get everything fixed.
See a Doctor
Even if you feel fine, it is important that you get checked out by a doctor after an accident. Some injuries that occur will manifest themselves over time and cause a lot of problems. Your doctor will be able to identify them before they become a problem and help you get the treatment that you need. Additionally, you will need records from your doctor to prove that your injuries were from the crash, so you can get reimbursed by your insurance. As Page Law points out, you will get a larger settlement if your injuries are more severe, but even if your injuries are minor, you can still get compensation.
Don’t let the shock of an accident keep you from taking care of yourself and anyone who was in the car with you. It’s important that you handle the aftermath of a car accident properly so that it won’t come back to hurt you in the future.