When accidents happen, they sometimes result in injuries and a lot of confusion. At times, the people who have been involved and others who have witnessed the accident may freeze due to shock. It is important to react quickly, therefore, preventing further injuries or more damage to the car. Here are a few steps that you can follow once an accident happens.
- Practice safety
If you have not been seriously injured, you can move away from the vehicle. Check on the other passengers and assess their injuries if they have any. If you collided with another driver, also check on them to make sure they are okay. Turn on the hazard lights to warn the oncoming motorists to avoid another accident. At the police’s advice, you can pull your car to the side of the road, if possible, so that traffic does not build up. Do not panic and leave the accident scene, as that can make it hard to file a claim later or even face legal action if the other party was seriously injured or died.
- Report the accident
Call the police and inform them of the accident. As you wait for the police, do not try to engage the other party so much and start pointing fingers or accepting responsibility for the accident. You can, however, exchange basic information with them. The police will assess the situation and make an unbiased report. The driver should obtain a copy of the report as it acts as supporting evidence when filing for a claim
- Gather the evidence
You need to collect certain information about the other driver like:
- Phone number
- Home address
- License number and,
- Insurance information of the other driver
Also, collect information about the accident. This includes:
- Location of the accident
- Date and time
- The direction that both drivers were heading to
- Detailed information of what was happening before the accident and after.
- Detailed photos of the accident
Gathering information immediately is essential; the more time you take to record details, the more likely you will forget details about the accident. Also, you can take information about the witnesses of the accident. They may have more information than you, which will come in handy when filing your claim.
- Seek medical help
After an accident, the adrenaline rush caused by an accident can blind you to any injuries you may have. Other people go home, but once the shock dies, they realize that the injuries are way more severe than they thought. Getting medical attention earlier helps in avoiding further injuries. Make sure any treatment you get regarding the accident is documented. The records come in handy when filing for a claim.
Contact your insurance company
Whether at fault or not, you need to call your insurance company and inform them of the accident. First, it is because you are in a contract with your insurance company. Not reporting goes against the contract, in which case the company can deny paying for any coverage. Secondly, your insurance company helps you repair any damages that have occurred, rather than waiting for the dispute to be settled so that you can fix your car.
- Contact a lawyer
Call an attorney and talk to them about an accident. An Oakland car accident lawyer knows the law and will help you with any legal consequences that follow. The lawyer can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf, giving you peace of mind and time to recover from injuries. They will fight for you after accessing the situation and determine the compensation you should get from the accident.