The moments immediately following a car accident can be confusing and stressful. With emotions running high, it’s not uncommon for people to feel unsure what steps to take. But failing to do the right things immediately after an accident can cause trouble down the road. With over 2 million people a year injured in car accidents – and countless more uninjured – it’s a good idea to know what to do if and when you join their ranks. Here are a few tips that can help.
Stay With Your Vehicle
It can be tempting to leave a car accident, particularly a seemingly minor fender-bender – but don’t. Even a seemingly small rear-ending can damage your car’s frame or leave you with aches and pains that show up the next day. If you’ve left the scene without getting the other driver’s information, you’ve forfeited any compensation you could have gotten, so it’s critical that you don’t pull off no matter how minor the collision seems.
Call the Police
A police account of the accident can be vital to getting money that you are owed. Move your vehicles from the roadway and call authorities. When they arrive, be prepared with details of the circumstances of the accident. The report the officer generates can be used in any resulting court case and in some instances, is required to file an insurance claim.
Drivers involved in auto collisions often get caught up in debating how the accident occured. But before emotions run high, take a moment to get the other driver’s information. That includes their name of course, but also their phone number and their insurance information. This ensures that you have more than one method to reach them should you file a claim or a lawsuit later on.
Proof of what happened is important for filing an auto insurance claim or going to court, so be sure to take pictures immediately after the accident. Capture details of damage to your car and to the other car, which can help verify who caused the accident. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the other driver’s tags in case they don’t give you their contact information.
Experiencing a car accident can be jarring. But don’t let the emotions of this unfortunate event overshadow the practical concerns. Use the tips above in the immediate aftermath of an accident and reach out to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your interests.