How To React To An Auto Accident
Car accidents are scary, emotional experiences. Even minor fender benders can leave you shaken and disoriented. After such an emotional experience, it’s important to remain calm, as there are certain things you may be able to do at the scene of an accident and shortly afterward to help others and best position yourself to pursue a claim.
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What You Should Do Immediately After An Accident
If you have just been in an accident, the first thing you should do is check yourself and your fellow passengers for injuries. If you’re in doubt, you should call an ambulance. Refrain from moving anyone with neck or back pain until a qualified medical professional has arrived.
In the event of a minor accident, you should move the cars out of the flow of traffic and turn on your hazard lights.
Afterward you should call the police. Even in minor accidents, it’s important to establish a police report. Remember to ask the officer’s name and badge number for your records.
After you’ve established that everybody is safe or that injuries are taken care of, you should:
- Talk to witnesses as the scene.
- Exchange information with other parties. Get their names and numbers, should you need to contact them.
- Take photos of the accident, including of the scene and of any damage to your vehicle.
- Be mindful of admitting guilt or discussing the incident too much before conferring with an attorney or your insurance company.
What You Should Do In The Days Following An Accident
In the aftermath of an accident, you should be mindful of your physical well-being. Some soft tissue injuries don’t become apparent until a day or two after an accident. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, you should visit your doctor.
You should also consider getting a property damage valuation on your vehicle, including from your insurance company and an independent evaluator, if possible.
Finally, use caution when discussing the incident with your insurance company. If there’s been a significant injury or damage to your vehicle, you should consider contacting an experienced lawyer.