It’s very easy to get confused and overwhelmed after a motor vehicle accident. But it’s important to remain calm and follow these steps to ensure everyone’s safety and preserve your legal rights.
Check for injuries and call 911 if necessary
If you’re able, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Note that some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent, so if you’re in pain it’s always best to seek medical attention. It’s also often unwise to move an injured person unless it’s necessary to avoid further harm.
Move your vehicle to a safe location
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot. This will help prevent further accidents and allow emergency vehicles easy access to the scene. If you can’t move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
Exchange information with the other driver
Get the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance company and policy number. If they refuse to provide this information, call the police. You should also write down their license plate number. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the accident scene, if possible. If you have a dash cam, be sure to save the footage.
Ensure there’s a police report
In many jurisdictions, a police report is required in order to file an insurance claim. Even if it’s not required, it’s generally a good idea to have one as it can help document what happened and who was involved.
Call your insurance company
Even if you don’t think the motor vehicle accident was your fault, it’s a good idea to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. They will be able to advise you on what to do next and may even send an adjuster to the scene of the accident. One thing to note is that you should be careful about what you say to your insurance company. Stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault.
In the end, it’s important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety and protect your legal rights. motor vehicle accidents can be confusing and overwhelming, but following these steps can help you through the process.