Car Accidents: What to Do, and What Not to Do
Being involved in a car accident can range in their severity. Sometimes they can be simple and easy to resolve, more of an inconvenience than anything else. Other times, unfortunately, can be a much more traumatic experience. Car collision accidents are quite common today and chances are particularly high that you have been involved in such an accident in the past, or will be in one in the future. According to DKB LLP, “here is a list of some of the most common factors that lead to car wrecks: improper lane changing, failure to yield, texting while driving, speeding, distracted driving, poor road conditions, roadside construction sites, and defective car or motorcycle parts.” That’s quite a lot of small actions that can lead to terrible consequences.
Whether you are the one at fault, or the other motorist is to blame, many people do not know how to respond or act in the period after the collision. One of the most critical elements that you need to know when responding to accidents revolves around reacting well under pressure that comes with the thought of the damage, losses, and injuries that you may have suffered in the accident. It is important, therefore, to know the appropriate actions to take or not to take after a crash.
Stop your car and get out
The first thing that you should do after getting engaged in an accident is stopping your car. NOLO cautions that it is a crime, in almost all countries in the world, to drive off in the aftermath of an accident, irrespective of how minor it may be. After stopping, get out of the car and reach out to the other party that was involved in the collision. Staying in the car could pose additional risks upon your life as a car may explode into flames due to the flammable vapors that spill out of the fuel tank. Reaching out to the other party to determine their condition would help save their lives in case they have been badly injured.
Guard the scene and call the police
If the accident has occurred in the middle of the road, chances are that other motorists would not get to see the wrecks on time to avoid further collisions. It is therefore essential to guard the scene by taking numerous steps including setting the hazard signals on, lighting some flares and placing the lifesavers appropriately on the front and rear of the wrecks. This prevents further accidents by warning other motorists. After setting up, reach out to your phone and call the police on 911 to report your location, injuries, and other details that the police may inquire from you. This sets the police and ambulance on their way to attend to the accident. And according to Lawyers.com, this helps make the police report clearer and easier to use in the future.
Preserve evidence appropriately
The next measure you need to take involves protecting whatever evidence possible from the scene. DMV.org suggests, you can do this by taking pictures of the position of the two cars involved in the accident, taking a close photo of each of the cars to reveal the extents of damage, and the presence of any tire skid marks on the tarmac. Also, if you have a car dashboard camera, take it and save the last few seconds leading up to the crash. Such evidence ensures that the police are appropriately advised on what happened and who was at fault. The evidence will also be necessary to provide if you are involved in a lawsuit.
Report to the insurance company
Make a phone call to your insurance company to inform them of the accident and brief them on any proceedings or evaluations from the police on site. Cascade Collision Repair recommends calling your insurance company as soon as possible so that they can start processing your claim faster. This starts the process of securing post-accident activities such as car repairs and medical reimbursement. The police will also write you a report that you can take to the insurance company for a follow-up on insurance claims, depending on the insurance company policies and the package you have secured.
You should not, however, settle for any payments made by the other party relating to the accident. This is because the payments may fall below the repair requirements that would be required of your car. You should also avoid signing any agreements or reports other than that which would be provided by the police.
Any accident scene can be scary and pose an immense pressure on you. Reacting well under pressure is perhaps the most important attribute that you should employ under such conditions. Under composure, you would be able to act accordingly to give the authorities an easy time to process the scene and issue a verdict.