A driver will need to file an insurance claim every 17.9 years for an auto accident. 77% of all drivers have been in an auto accident. If you plan to travel by car more than 1,000 miles, your chances of being in a car accident are 1 in 366.
The statistics are not in your favor. While nobody wants to imagine themselves getting into an auto accident, you should know what to do if you find yourself as one of the statistics.
The more prepared you are, the better you should be able to keep a clear head and do what needs to be done at the accident scene. So, read on to learn more about what you should do if you’re in an auto accident.
If you’ve just been in an accident, the first thing to do is stay calm. It won’t do you or anyone else any good to deal with anger or hysterics.
Your body is going to naturally react to the accident, sending adrenaline through you. So, while you might think you know what to do, you may have to think deliberately to make decisions and get through the initial shock of the accident.
The calmer you can remain, the more you can help others and gather the information you’ll need following an accident.
Check for Injuries
One of the first things you need to do is to quickly check for injuries and assess to the best of your ability the severity of the injuries. Check yourself to see if it feels like you’ve been injured. Then check your passengers and the people in other vehicles.
It’s important to remember that you want to assess quickly, but also remember you’ll have a lot of adrenaline and shock. You may not recognize that you have injuries the way you should.
In fact, it’s always a good idea to have medical personnel check you out following an accident.
Call for Emergency Services
In today’s world of cell phones, it’s highly likely someone will call for emergency help before you can even locate your phone following the accident. You need to call for help.
First responders can assess for injuries. They can evaluate the crash scene and route traffic away as needed for safety. When you call in you should be prepared to tell them:
- Your location
- Number of cars involved
- If there might be injuries
This information will help emergency services get the help there as quickly as possible.
If your accident is minor, you should not skip calling the police. Your insurance will still want a police report and this needs to be done at the scene of the accident.
Move to Safety
If you’re able, you want to move out of the road and get yourself to safety. You don’t want one accident to turn into another because you were in the way of traffic following the accident.
Sometimes it’s not possible to move out of the road if you can’t get out of your car or you’re injured. In this case, it’s best to just stay put inside the car and wait for help to arrive.
Document the Accident Scene
The police will do an investigation and will provide a full police report. But if you’re able, it might be helpful to take some pictures of the accident scene with your cell phone.
As much as you’re able to take pictures from multiple angles. It might be helpful later, if your accident becomes a legal case to have these photos.
Take them from both far away and up close to get perspective on the accident.
Again, if you’re able you will want to gather some information from the people involved in the accident. The police are likely to gather information from the involved drivers.
You want to get:
- Full name and phone number
- Insurance company
- Policy number
- Insurance company contact information
Often witnesses will hang around an accident scene just long enough for emergency help to arrive. It will be helpful to get contact information from any witnesses of the accident. Often they have perspective on the accident that those involved can’t have.
Get Medical Attention
People involved in an auto accident often in their panic and fear want to play down the severity of an accident. They will often decline treatment at the scene.
The reality is that many times shock and adrenaline are masking your symptoms. For this reason, you should always opt to get checked out by a medical professional following an accident. You may have injuries you don’t realize. Or maybe you can’t even feel the injuries yet because of shock.
Call Your Insurance
Once the accident has cleared, you’ll want to contact your insurance company right away to make them aware of the accident. They will want an adjuster to look at the vehicles involved in the accident.
If there is more than one insurance company involved, they will start to communicate about who’s at fault and who should be responsible for paying damages.
Seek Legal Help
Most auto accidents, especially ones where there is any kind of injury, require an auto accident lawyer. It can get complicated dealing with multiple insurance companies.
If you have injuries, there’s likely to be a lot of bills that need to be covered. If you aren’t at fault, you will probably want to seek compensation for your suffering and lost wages from work too.
A personal injury lawyer knows how to navigate and negotiate with all the parties involved to reach an accident settlement.
Know What to do If You’re in an Auto Accident
Nobody wants to imagine themselves as the victim of an auto accident. But if you’re in an accident, it’s important to know what to do.
It’s very likely you’ll need an auto accident attorney to help you following an auto accident. Contact us today to let us do a free evaluation on your case so we can get you the help you deserve.