Getting into a car accident is a frightening thing to be involved in. It’s even more so if you suffer injuries or someone else involve is seriously injured. It is important to have your wits about you and respond in a calm and rational manner as is possible given the situation. The way you respond and handle the situation can eliminate problems for you later on. It can also cause you a lot of headaches and stress.
For persons involved in their first accident, it can seem a gargantuan task to know what to do, when, and how.
Car accidents can be fatal and cause severe injury and trauma. Knowing what to do can save not only your life but the lives of passengers in your vehicle as well as anyone else involved. There are some crucial steps that you need to do after a car accident.
1. Check yourself and passengers for injuries
The first thing to do after a car accident is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. There are some injuries that need immediate medical attention and any delay can result in dire consequences. Of course, this is if you yourself are in the condition to do so. It is also good to take note of any injuries so that you can report them to the paramedics as well as your lawyer should one be necessary. Some injuries seem minor but can trigger long and lasting conditions that will require you to go to court.
2. Call the necessary authorities
The next vital step is to call the relevant authorities, this includes police and medics. Not doing so can cause more harm than good. Persons should be checked out by medics to ensure no lingering damage was done. Police also need to be on the scene to conclude who was at fault and should be taking responsibility, which is the standard practice in Texas and most of its cities. It also helps to resolve any tensions in terms of insurance and ownership of responsibility for the accident. Sometimes things can get heated when an accident occurs, especially in a busy city like Houston and it’s best to have parties on the scene intervene. You also have hit and run situations where it takes police action to track down the culprit.
3. Exchange driver and insurance information
While waiting for the authorities if possible begin the process of exchanging information. This can help the process move a lot smoother and quicker. It is also the protocol to follow. Whether you are the cause or victim you should be forthcoming with your contact information. If again things are uncomfortable, wait for the authorities to arrive to exchange the necessary information.
4. Photograph and get witness information
You should take photos and get information from any witnesses nearby for evidence later on. It can be hard to get this information once you’ve moved from the scene of the accident. In case there are legal issues having documents to back up any claims or make the situation clearer for the parties involved can be the difference between justice and having to shell out thousands of dollars in medical care and care repairs.
5. File an accident report
Once the police have arrived you should file an accident report. It is vital to have this information on record. Without having a record of exactly what happens you can be accused of being the cause of the accident or causing physical harm. No one wants to have these types of nasty surprises pop up. It is best to handle this straight away to keep yourself in the clear. This is another way to make sure that if you are the victim the person responsible isn’t as likely to run off.
6. Contact your insurance agency
Lastly, it is important to contact your insurance agency. It is good to know what exactly is covered by them in case of an accident and also what procedures you should follow in order to claim any benefits. You also what to keep things updated on their end as not doing so can result in you losing your coverage.
Car accidents aren’t fun and can be serious but knowing what is important to do can keep the stress managed. Follow the six crucial steps listed above to get through the whole incident seamlessly. Remember to practice proper road safety.