Accidents are unpredictable and can occur anytime, anywhere, so it's a good idea to know what to do in the event an accident does occur. If you're driving and are in an accident, there are a number of things to consider and do at the scene of the accident.
Always use caution when engaging with other drivers. If possible, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road. If you think you may be getting ready to engage with an angry driver or potential carjacker, try to pull over in a safe, populated area.
Check for Possible Injuries
One of the first things to do in any type of accident is to check for injuries. If someone is injured, call 911 for immediate assistance.
Assess Vehicle Damage
As soon as any injuries are addressed, check your vehicle for damage and take pictures if possible. These will be useful when you contact your insurance company.
Don't Leave the Scene of the Accident
It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Stay at the scene and try to be as helpful as possible by tracking down owners of other vehicles in the accident. Jot down the details of the accident, such as vehicle details, the location of the accident, weather conditions, and time of day. Gather as much information as you can, including contact information for everyone involved in the accident. Don't forget to get insurance and license details from everyone. If you do have to leave for any reason, write your name, phone number, and address on a piece of paper.
Contact Law Enforcement
In the event of a serious accident, it's important to contact the proper law enforcement personnel, especially if injuries are involved. Not only will they complete an accident report, but they can help contact medical assistance and are a good resource for obtaining a copy of the accident report for insurance purposes.
Always File Accident Reports
Whether an officer arrives at the scene of the accident or not, an accident report should always be filed. If you're in an accident and an officer doesn't arrive, simply visit your local police department and file a report yourself. This is an important step to take because having an accident report on file can help protect you from being sued, and it is a necessary document when filing an insurance claim.
Accidents can be harrowing experiences, but if you know how to deal with them, they can be a little less stressful.