Unfortunately, car crashes are a part of life, even if you are the most careful of drivers. Around 30,000 fatal car crashes were reported in 2019 in the United States due to several reasons such as driving under the influence (alcohol), over speeding, or texting while driving.
Whether you have been involved in a fender bender or a serious collision, you could still be shaken up by accident and lose your train of thought for a while. You need to be prepared for what steps you can take following a car crash.
Run Maintenance Checks
If you have been injured in a collision, it’s best to call for help and remain in your position as much as you can until a medical professional tends to you. If you are okay, check if everyone else in the vehicle is okay, especially if children or elders are on board. If anyone has been injured, find the nearest help possible.
Never Drive off
No matter how minor or how severe the accident was or whether you were at fault or not, never drive away from the accident. If the accident proved to be more severe than you initially thought, it could be counted as a hit and run, and you could face jail time.
Calling the police is important and, in some states, is legally required, no matter how severe the collision is. Officers will come to the scene and file out a report which you can then submit with your insurance claims forms. If an officer can’t make it to the location of the accident, go to the nearest police station to file your report.
Contact Your Attorney
Getting an attorney involved in the matter is a safe approach to tackle when you’re involved in a car accident. A Knoxville accident attorney, for example, will immediately start investigating your case and preserve any necessary evidence to avoid any complications in the future. This also aids in making sure your insurance claims process goes smoothly, and you get the best service possible after the car accident.
Collect as much information as possible
Use your smartphone to take pictures of any important documents, i.e., the vehicle’s license plate number and the driver’s license, and take any contact details of the vehicle owner.
You can also use your smartphone to document the crash. This helps figure out the exact date and time of the accident, and photo evidence can show the impact of the crash and how much damage was done to both vehicles. Try recording yourself describing what exactly happened from your perspective while the incident is still fresh in your mind. If possible, talk to anyone around the area who witnessed the accident if they are willing to talk.
Dealing with Heated Confrontation
It is easy to get caught in the moment and argue with the other vehicle’s owner. This can lead to unnecessary stress, mixing up the facts, and possibly police intervention.
The other vehicle’s owner could also negotiate a deal with you to keep this incident under wraps and not file an official accident report. While their offer could be tempting, it could cause legal problems later. Therefore, going through proper procedures would be the safest thing to do when faced with this.
Wait for the Authorities
It’s easy to blame the opposing driver after a car crash and accuse them of the accident. However, this is an issue for the authorities and your insurance providers to determine. Avoid confronting the other driver in the absence of authority as the evidence could prove otherwise, and you could be in trouble for making false accusations.
Seek Medical Attention
Unless you are certain that you were not injured during the car crash, consult your doctor. People have often reported experiencing the effects of a crash a day or two after the incident. If anyone were with you in the vehicle at the time of the accident, it would be safer to get them checked up by a medical professional.
Get Roadside Assistance
If your vehicle is not in a state to be driven, it may be required to be towed away to a safer spot or to the car manufacturer to start working on the damages. AAA Roadside Assistance is one of the most convenient ways of ensuring your car is taken care of following a car accident.
Claim For Auto Insurance
Get in touch with your insurance providers as soon as possible. According to your policy, this helps get things going with claiming your insurance and any other benefits entitled to you. Find out what documents you need to file for your insurer and what deadlines to submit your documents.
Suppose you decide not to claim the insurance for this accident and pay for the repairs yourself. It is still better to inform your insurer about the incident as the other driver may claim you without knowing it.
Audit the Damage
If your car is in a drivable condition, head over to a mechanic to assess the damage and figure out how much it will cost you to repair the damage. If you have an alternate means of transport, you might want to wait until your settlement comes through from your insurance company to get all the work done.
Nobody would like to see themselves getting involved in a car crash, but it happens. When it does happen, however, you would like to see yourself handling the situation as best as you can.
It is easy to overlook some of the steps mentioned above and blow things completely out of proportion. Still, the key to not letting things get out of hand is to remain calm, speak to proper authorities and let them do their jobs so that you do not suffer major issues.
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