Car accidents are terrifying. No matter the damage, whether a small fender-bender or more serious accident, you need to be prepared. Once hit, your mind goes in all different directions. Am I hurt? Is anyone else hurt? How bad is the damage? What will my insurance company think, and how quickly can / should I get the police involved? Breathe… your questions will be answered!
What To Do Before, During, & After A Car Accident
It might be hard to think about relaxing during such a stressful situation, but know that help is there and you will get through this! Below we’ve outlined a before, during, and after section describing what you should do and collect. All are, of course, optional but making sure everyone is safe and well insured is the top priority!
You never really know when you are going to be in an accident, and usually it wasn’t your fault. Therefore, you should always be prepared for whatever may happen. To help prepare for any kind of accident, we recommend creating an emergency kit that you can keep in your vehicle. This kit doesn’t have to be huge, but trust me when I say it could be a life saver! Read the article below for more information on what you should put in your emergency kit.
How To Create The Best Emergency Kit
The second thing you should keep in your car is an index card of all your contacts. This would include your driver licenses information, any allergy information (for medical personnel), vehicle registration, emergency contacts, and health insurance information.
As always, to help prevent further injuries, wear your seat belt!! They truly are life savers. When reacting to an accident, try not to brace hard for impact. This could injure your arms or legs pretty badly. Keep breathing and try to remain as loose as possible.
Examine yourself and others in your vehicle. If you can drive your vehicle, make sure to pull over in a safe area and call 911 asap. Remain in your vehicle for now.
The most crucial time is right after the accident. Your head is spinning (hopefully just from the adrenaline), and you have a bunch of things to remember to do and jot down. First things first, throw your flashers on and turn your vehicle off with the keys out!
Never drive away from the scene. Even if it were a small fender bender, you need to be courteous and make sure the other driver is fine. Check your surroundings first before getting out of your vehicle. If for some reason, you hit a telephone or electrical outlet, you NEED to watch this video and be VERY cautious!!!
If you know the surroundings are safe, get out of the vehicle (slowly, to prevent further injury), and set up any flares / triangles / cones to protect yourself from oncoming traffic.
Next steps, call your insurance company ASAP. Only AFTER you’ve called the police and they are on their way. You might need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, so always get the police involved. After you’ve called your insurance company, contact roadside assistance if your car cannot drive.
Now that you have everyone involved, you need to gather information from everyone else. Take pictures and write EVERYTHING down about how the accident happened.
Take Pictures Of:
- Traffic lights or stop signs if you are near an intersection.
- The other driver’s licenses plate in case they leave the scene.
- Your car, exterior and interior pictures needed. The other driver’s car (interior exterior included).
- If you or the other driver have any injuries, take pictures of them for claim purposes.
Information Needed – you need to exchange information with the other driver. You will need…
- Full name, number, email, address, and insurance company. You will need this of all involved in the accident.
- Talk with any witnesses and gather their information as well. Name, number, email, statement.
- Once the police have arrived, get the report number, officers phone number, name, and badge number.
Find the nearest urgent car or emergency room and get checked. Though you might not notice any pain or discomfort now, you will later. Being in an accident is hard on your body, but your adrenaline after the accident is so strong, your body won’t show pain. Even if you feel ok, seek medical attention. This is for insurance purposes and for your own safety!
Call your attorney if anyone was injured during the accident to protect your rights. Always receive legal advice before signing any documentations and talk with your insurance agent! Cover yourself first!!
Finally, keep a record of all your accidents. Just in case someone filed a claim down the road that they shouldn’t have, you have all the records and phone numbers to protect yourself.
Keeping yourself and those around you safe is always the number one priority after an accident. Be careful out there and pay attention to your surroundings!