Automotive and vehicular accidents are stressful events. However, it is important for all individuals involved to remain calm and focused. Accidents can range in severity and can include situations where it can ruin a person’s day or even result in catastrophic consequences, forever changing the lives of those implicated. Any person that drives is subject to becoming embroiled in a crash. The more that someone drives, the higher the probability. Accident victims should be aware that there are steps to follow that can reduce stress and improve a terrible situation. So, what steps can individuals take after being involved in an accident?
Step 1: Safety First
The first step in any accident is to ensure the safety of all parties and anyone near the scene. If the accident is a minor fender-bender, move all vehicles involved from the travel lanes and park them in a safe location that does not block traffic. This location should minimize or remove the possibility of causing an additional accident. Make sure that the cars are turned off and turn on the hazard lights. If you have safety cones or any type of warning mechanism, place them around the perimeter.
Step 2: Get Help
Once you have secured the accident scene, proceed to obtain the necessary help. If there are injuries, call an ambulance. Remember that if it is not an emergency, do not call 911. Instead, dial the local highway patrol or police station. A quick Google search on a smartphone can provide the needed information. Individuals should contact police or highway patrol even if the accident is minor. An official accident report can prove to be highly valuable during the insurance process and in establishing the party that is at fault.
Step 3: Exchange Information
While help arrives, start the process of exchanging information, including insurance. Obtain data from all individuals involved, starting with drivers. Also, obtain passenger information. Make sure to include license plate number, color, make, model, and year of all vehicles and the name of the insurance company, policy number, drivers license numbers, and phone numbers of the drivers involved. If anybody witnessed the accident, be sure to obtain their names and phone numbers as well. Write down the exact address of the location of the event and include the responding police officer’s name and badge number. Additionally, take videos and pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles. Do not sign any document unless directed to do so by your insurance company or by the police. More importantly, never discuss what you think may have happened or admit fault.
Step 4: Follow Up
Accidents can be traumatic, and many people may sustain injuries without realizing it. Therefore, the final step is to obtain a medical checkup. Accident victims should get checked up as quickly as possible following the crash. Afterward, if you seek medical attention for subsequent treatments, medicines, surgeries, physical therapy, o psychological assistance, be sure to maintain official records and receipts that you can provide to your insurance company. Even if it is a single consultation, such information will be valuable to file an insurance claim or proceed with additional actions. Also, follow up with the insurance company regarding property damage. Do not simply settle for body shops that your insurance company recommends. Instead, look for businesses that you feel comfortable with or that have excellent reviews. If in Michigan, be sure to review Heritage Collision, an auto body repair shop in Ypsilanti, MI with excellent reviews.
Whether resulting from motorcycle accident negligence or a DUI that will involve a possible criminal defense, an accident can change a person’s life in a matter of seconds. From ruining someone’s day with a traffic ticket or some property damage to changing the way that the person will live the rest of their lives, accident victims should always seek professional assistance. Knowing how to react in these situations can alleviate future frustration and can ensure that you are compensated fairly. Remember always to remain calm and think clearly. Accidents can happen to anyone.