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Car accidents are a part of car ownership. With so many cars on the roads, accidents are bound to happen. Nobody enjoys a traffic accident, it can get emotional, it can be scary and there is usually a lot of chaos and confusion involved. With this boiling pot of emotions, comes rash decisions. When everything has settled and everybody is alright, it becomes time to discover who will pay for the car accident damages. Here are the steps you should take if you are unfortunate enough to be in a traffic accident.
Firstly, you must check yourself and any passengers traveling in your vehicle for injuries. You need to figure out quickly if anyone has any back or neck pain. If the answer is yes to either of these, you need to ensure they do not move until a trained paramedic arrives.
Next, you should check your surroundings. Are you in a safe position, are there any fumes or smoke coming from the engine? Is there anything you can do that will make everyone safer?
If your car has not suffered drastic damage and is in a movable condition, you should move it out of the road. When you do this, make sure you do it slowly. Put your hazard lights on, move to the side of the road and put your hand brake on. At this point, try and look for the other car that was involved and write down their license number.
Remember that you should never leave the scene of an accident until you have explained to the police why you are leaving or have been told by them to leave.
After you have made sure you are safe to leave the vehicle, get out and check for any other injuries. Make sure the other driver and his passengers are safe and are not feeling any back or neck pain, then check for any pedestrians that may have been involved. Do not get into a prolonged discussion with the other party, safety comes first.
Call the police at this point if you have not already. Even if the accident is minor, the police should be informed. Police reports can help when it comes to settling arguments over fault, during insurance claims.
When you speak to the police, make sure you only discuss the facts of the accident with them, in an unbiased way.
After the police have been informed, now is the time to exchange information with the other party. You are required to do this by law. Collect as much as you possibly can at this point. That includes names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance company names, and car insurance policy numbers.
Finally, all that is left is to contact your insurance company. The sooner you do this, the better. If you fail to do this, you could be leaving yourself open, legally, for damages from the accident. This is where all that information you collected about the other party is extremely important.
If you follow these steps, you put yourself in the best possible position following an accident, whether it was your fault, or not. Hopefully, you will never need this information, but, better to be safe than sorry right?