When an Accident Occurs
Accidents can happen quickly, shaking up even the most experienced driver. It is important that you are composed and know what to do when there’s an accident.
- First, check for injuries. Assess yourself as well as any passengers in your car. Then, check on the other car(s) involved. Call emergency services if anyone is bleeding, immobile, or severely injured.
- Next, check for damage on your vehicle and any other car(s) involved in the accident. Take pictures of the visible damage.
- Finally, wait for police to arrive on the scene and exchange car insurance information with the involved driver(s).
What Not to Do
Although a car accident can be very stressful, it is important that you remain calm throughout the situation. This may help keep others calm around you, and may even help your case should claim disputes end up in court.
- Do not get angry or engage with the other driver if they appear angry; wait for law enforcement to arrive to deescalate the situation.
- Do not accuse the other party of driving recklessly.
- Do not make assumptions of what the other party was doing when the accident occured.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident until authorities arrive.
It is important that you follow these guidelines in order to not worsen the situation. It can also be difficult to contact the other driver(s) if you leave the scene of the accident. This can also become problematic with the law if the other driver is injured and you leave the scene before police can arrive.
How to Handle an Accident
Whatever you do, be sure to not escalate tensions between drivers. Stay calm, and wait for authorities to arrive. Assess injuries on the scene and keep severely injured parties still until an ambulance arrives; medical professionals have special equipment to move individuals with neck, back, or other bone injuries. You can make things worse by trying to move an injured person, even if it seems less comfortable to wait in a particular position for that individual.
Document everything you can about the accident with pictures, contact information, and insurance details with the driver(s) involved. Write down what happened as soon as you are safe and able to do so; this narrative may help with claims or even in court and your memory will be freshest the day of the accident.
Remember, although we cannot control all situations, we can control how we respond to them. Remain calm, and reach out to our offices if you need a lawyer to help you through the claims process, or if you have to go to court to resolve the situation.