While no two motor vehicle accidents are identical in regard to the circumstances, there are general steps you can take if you find yourself in this challenging position.
Here are five steps you should attempt to take:
- Move to safety: By moving your vehicle out of the flow of traffic, you reduce the likelihood of additional trouble. The best thing you can do is move to the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot, if possible.
- Check yourself and passengers for injuries: Even a minor motor vehicle accident can result in serious injuries, such as broken bones and concussion, so don’t wait to take this step.
- Call 911: The dispatcher can help keep you calm, while also sending an ambulance and local police officer to the scene. This will go a long way in putting your mind at ease, which can help prevent a mistake that worsens your situation.
- Exchange information: This isn’t a priority if you’re injured, but it’s something to consider if you’re able to do so. You don’t have to discuss the details of the accident. Ask the other party for their insurance card, while also taking notes regarding the make, model and color of the vehicle. Placing blame at this time will only make things worse, so stick to the basics.
- Document the accident: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries and damage to your vehicle. You can also document the accident by requesting a copy of the police report.
After you take these steps at the accident scene, receive medical treatment at a local hospital and discuss your prognosis with your doctor. This will give you a clear idea of what you’re up against during your recovery.
As time allows, report the accident to your insurance agent by providing basic information and any documentation you gathered.
Also, review your insurance policy to better understand the coverage you have and the type of compensation you should receive. This helps prevent a situation in which your agent and insurer take advantage of you.