The sound of crunching metal and jar of impact is enough to rattle anyone, at this time it can be difficult to comprehend exactly what you need to do next. Difficult, however, does not mean impossible. There are several things to remember if you are involved in an accident, from not moving your vehicle to calling your insurance company.
Immediately Following the Accident
First, be fully aware of the laws in your particular location. In general, if there are no major injuries and your vehicle is still operational you should move it to a safe location such as a nearby parking lot or at least the side of the road. Of course, if you are injured or your vehicle is incapacitated you will need to stay put, so buckle up and turn on your hazard lights to alert other vehicles of the problem. Immediately call the authorities and wait for assistance to arrive.
Whatever you do, never drive away from even a minor accident without checking on the other parties involved and making a call to authorities. If you leave the scene of an accident without completing these steps, you are committing a crime, and could result in criminal charges.
While waiting for the authorities to arrive the drivers from each vehicle should exchange pertinent information. Phone numbers and insurance information is a good place to start but you should also get license plate numbers, address and name of the owner of the car if different from the driver. For your records, you may also want to note the make, model and color of any vehicle involved in the accident. Finally note the exact location of the accident and remember never tell the other driver or police the accident was your fault, even if you are pretty sure it was.
You may need to take a few minutes to clear your head right after the accident so that you can put together the exact sequence of events. Which way were you traveling? Which street were you on? Do you remember the exact moment when the other car came into the picture?
Always remember safety first, but if possible take several photographs of the accident. If you can get pictures of all vehicles before they are moved then do so, this could be valuable if there is a dispute about fault or the extent of damages. It is also important to get corroborating statements from any witnesses.
Depending on your location and the severity of the accident, law enforcement may not arrive on the scene. If this is the case, it is very important that you take it upon yourself to file an accident report with local authorities. An accident report may not be required by your insurance but better to be safe than sorry.
Once your vehicle has been cleared from the scene, it is time to contact your insurance adjuster. In most cases, the number to report accidents will be included in your policy information. This is not a call you want to delay making. Should you run into problems with your injury case or insurance company or the offending parties insurance company you will want to call a professional at Farar Law Group.
Traffic accidents are an unpleasant fact, and though no one ever wants to think about the possibility, it is better to be prepared, just in case. Other preparations you want to consider is including a medical first aid kit, flares and blankets.