Did you know there are about 6 million car accidents in the United States each year?
If you’ve ever been in a car accident or know someone who has been in one, then you know how stressful it can be for all parties involved. Because everything happens so fast, many people don’t think about what they should do.
Read on to learn the steps to take after a car accident.
The Extent of Damages and Injuries
The first thing you need to do after a car accident is to determine the extent of the damages. Of course, this is only possible if the accident wasn’t severe enough to cause serious bodily damage. Take a look at the other passengers to check for injuries and make sure they’re responsive.
If someone has been hurt severely, the first thing you should do is call an ambulance. Once you ensure everyone is okay, you can move on to inspect the damage done to both vehicles.
Call the Police
After you move away from traffic (if the cars are drivable), you should call the police, even if it’s just a minor car accident. Your insurance company might require you to give them a full police report.
While you wait for the police to arrive, you must limit conversations with the other parties. You should also never admit fault, which will be determined later on based on the police report.
Sort Out the Facts
While you wait for the police to arrive, you need to go over the accident’s facts and how things occurred. This is the perfect opportunity to sort out your documents and get your license and insurance card ready.
Ensure you exchange information with the other driver and get their full name, address, phone number, and an alternative form of contact. You should also get proof of insurance from the other driver and document the name of their insurance company and policy number.
Your insurance company will also need information about the other vehicle such as make, model, year, registration, license plate, and such.
Other things to remember are the date and time of the accident, the road’s name, the direction of travel, and other facts you might find useful.
Decide If You Want to File a Claim
After you sort everything out with the police, it’s time to decide if you want to file a claim with your insurance. Most drivers that are at fault decide not to go through their insurance agency and pay for the damages themselves if the damage is minor.
If you were not at fault or there was major damage done to the car, you might want to go through your insurance. They will handle any repairs and cover medical costs (if it applies).
Follow This Checklist After a Car Accident
Now that you know what to do after a car accident, you will know how to handle it if it happens to you.
If you’re ever in an accident, you need to check for damage and injuries, call the police, get the facts straight, and file a claim with the insurance company.
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