Getting into a car accident is never a pleasant experience. One day you’re just driving along, and the next thing you know you’ve been rear-ended by another car. If you’ve never been in a car accident before, the entire experience can be a little unnerving. It’s hard to know what to do and many people become stressed or even panicked. To help you out, here are the things you should do if you ever find yourself in a car accident.
Make Sure You’re Safe
First, you want to make sure you are safe. Depending on the accident and where it happened, you could find yourself in danger immediately after the accident. Maybe your car is starting to smoke or you’re in a dangerous intersection. If possible, move your car to a safer location. If this isn’t possible, get out of the car and get yourself to a safe spot. Safety for you and anyone else involved should be your top priority immediately after an accident. Once everyone is in a good spot, you can begin dealing with the next steps.
Call for Help
Unless your accident was only a minor scratch, you’re likely going to need some assistance. For starters, you’ll want to call the police, so they can come to the scene. They will be able to file a police report so that there is an official record of the accident. In addition, if you or anyone else was seriously injured, the police can send an ambulance to take care of this.
Besides just emergency services, there is some other assistance you may need. If you’re unable to drive your car after the accident, not only will you need to call in a tow service, but you’ll need to find a ride. This means either calling a friend or family member or calling for a taxi service. Call whomever you need to right away so that they can get to the site of the accident sooner rather than later.
While you’re waiting for any assistance to arrive, it’s time to swap information with the other drivers. They’ll want your basic information – like name, phone number and address – along with your driver’s license info and your insurance information. Make sure you get all of the same information from the other driver. This information is vital for your insurance claims, so don’t let the other driver leave without getting it. If the other driver does try to leave without giving you information, try to get their license plate number before they go.
Pictures are another important part of your car accident. You may need a record of what happened, and pictures can provide the best evidence. Take pictures of your car, any other cars involved, any injuries, and anything that might have caused the accident (for example, a stop sign obscured by a tree branch). Most of us have cameras on our phones these days, so take out your phone and snap as many pictures as you can. You may not need them, but it doesn’t hurt to have them just in case.
See a Doctor
If you were hurt in any way during the accident, it’s important that you see a doctor. You should have even minor injuries looked at, as sometimes injuries are worse than they appear. Many people find themselves searching for a car accident doctor for whiplash after an accident, as the sudden jolt can injure our necks. It’s better to be too careful in situations like this, so even if you only get some minor bumps or scrapes, see a doctor.
Attend to Your Car
Once you know you’re okay, you can begin to think about your car. Hopefully, the damage wasn’t too severe and you’re still able to drive it. In other cases, you’ll have to have a tow truck take it to a mechanic. From there the mechanic will hopefully be able to repair any damage to the car, and your insurance will cover it. In some instances, your car will be totaled, and you’ll have to start looking for a new one.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, whenever you’ve been in an accident, it’s a good idea to replay it in your mind and see if you could have done anything differently. Were you driving too fast? Following another car too closely? Did you forget a turn signal? The best way to avoid a future accident is by learning from your mistakes and adjusting your driving habits going forward.
Hopefully this quick guide was able to provide you with some useful information, and if you ever find yourself in a car accident, you’ll know what to do.