No one intends to become involved in a traffic accident, but things happen, and it is best to have a plan for dealing with the unexpected.
Here are four important steps to take after a vehicle collision.
1. Move to safety
First things first. You need to check yourself and everyone else involved in the crash for injuries. If someone needs medical attention, call 911. Then move the vehicles to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic if you can do so safely.
2. Exchange information
You and the other driver should exchange names and insurance information. To confirm the driver’s identity, you can ask to see his license although he is not obligated to show it to you.
3. Document the accident
Use your smartphone to take pictures of the crash site, any markers such as buildings, signs or mailboxes, and the damage to the vehicles. If you can draw, make a diagram of the site. Jot down notes about the weather conditions, what you remember of events just prior to the crash and the direction in which each vehicle was traveling. Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
4. Seek medical attention
If the car crash was a minor one, you may feel OK except for frazzled nerves. After a collision, your body releases adrenalin, which can mask pain and injury temporarily. Therefore, you should seek prompt medical attention since you could have underlying injuries. Your doctor will write a medical report, which will be important to include if you submit a claim for insurance compensation. As an injured victim, you can expect compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more.