What to do after you have a car accident

No one’s truly prepared for a car accident. And the sad reality is that a good number of people will get involved in a car accident at some point in their lives — 1 in 107 of which will prove to be fatal.

The most prevalent type of vehicle accident is a bumper-to-bumper collision, which happens at 35% of all collisions. A vehicle accident with a fixed object comes in second, accounting for 24% of collisions, followed by rear-end accidents (11%).

While these stats look alarming, you can prepare for a fallback plan as early as now to ensure that you won’t incur major financial hurdles or suffer from a lack of preparation.

Here are some steps to take if you have been in a car accident.

1) Make sure everyone’s safe

Check to be sure everyone is safe. While most automobile accidents are not deadly, there is still a mild chance that you or the passengers in your vehicle may have a concussion or get injured.

Even if you feel mostly conscious, make sure you’re not bleeding, have a clear airway, and can feel your limbs as adrenaline may kick in during this time.

Once you’re sure that you’re safe, give your passengers a helping hand. If they’re injured, make sure that they are still breathing and gauge their senses. If they’re unscathed, gather them and move them out of the vehicle carefully as there could be spills and leakages that may put the lives of yourself and others at further risk.

Also, be sure to check if no passers-by and other drivers are hurt. If there are any, move on to the next step.

2) Call the emergency hotline immediately

If you’re in Australia, call 000 to access first responders to arrive at the scene. For other parts of the world, refer to your country’s local emergency hotline number.

Once you give them a call, provide them with all the details about the crash. They can send paramedics and police officers to the scene, depending on the severity of the accident.

During the call, be sure to give them your location; iMost emergency services can locate you from your phone signal and may get to your location using that information. Usually, first responders will arrive in a few minutes on most major roads and highways.

3) Document the crash

It’s easy to become frustrated with how individuals behave during emergencies when you’re viewing it from an outside perspective. But when you’re on the brink of it, staying rational might not be so easy.

That’s why you need documentation. Photographs serve as excellent pieces of evidence to get a clearer picture of the scene. It can help in the future too when you have to state your case in front of your personal insurance or company’s insurance.

Take out your smartphone or camera and snap some pictures of the area where you crashed. You may also want to take photos of other vehicles involved in the accident, their drivers, car positioning, and an eyewitness account if there are any. By doing so, you imprint the scene which can be used for argumentative evidence.

4) Move your vehicle somewhere safe if possible

There are times when accidents can cause a massive pileup of traffic and can inconvenience commuters. Parking at the centre of a busy interstate can also possibly put you at further risk if you’re in the middle of the highway. If possible, you may have to move your vehicle somewhere safer.

Park it in a safe location nearby where it won’t get hit by passing cars. If the damage to the automobile is significant, walk to the curb and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

5) Get in touch with crash repair services

Many people are unaware that collision repair services are accessible to assist you with vehicle damage repairs. These services take away the hassle of filing for expensive insurance claims as they go for a more affordable rate. They are also equipped to help you get your automobile back on the road in under 24 hours.

A good crash repair service can help you save money and get your car back in shape.  They can also immediately help you on the field with tow services straight to the repair shop – providing you with peace of mind by being in the hands of car repair experts.

6) Wait for authorities to help you and give instructions

If you’re still on the road, wait for authorities to arrive so they can give you more information. After you’ve reported the incident, emergency services will direct your actions depending on the extent of damage and injuries.

Once they arrive, let them know what happened and follow their instructions accordingly. They’ll most likely be asking you for necessary details to process your case – such as medical expenses, insurance information, and personal accounts. They may also give you a sobriety test if it’s believed that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. Just stay calm and cooperate with them.

7) Notify insurance companies if required

You’ll also have to report the incident to your insurer and request assistance.

They may ask you some questions about yourself and the other parties involved in the crash. They may also verify your policy number, its coverage, and other pertinent details.

If all’s in order, you should be able to get your claim filed with minimal to no hassle.

8) Ask for compensation from the responsible party

If it is found that another driver was at fault and caused your accident, you can ask them to compensate you for medical expenses and damage costs. (If you’re at fault — then you should be held responsible for helping pay off the costs for the other party as well) This is justifiable as the accident would have never occurred if a driver wasn’t acting negligently or recklessly.

If they refuse to compensate you, your insurance company or attorney may file the case on your behalf. For the former, this would mean lesser out of pocket costs for you when paying for your premium at a later time.

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