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You’re a good driver and safety is always your top priority, but whether you’re a great driver or a not-so-great driver, you can never fully prevent some accidents from happening. There are times when you’re able to make a sudden move and avoid a crash, but there are other times when it’s simply out of your control.
This is because even the safest drivers are at risk of accidents due to the other drivers around them. You’re only in control of your own driving and never in control of other drivers on the roads around you. Your first car accident can happen anywhere at any time and because of this, you need to stay prepared.
An ideal situation would be to never experience a car accident but to always prepare for one. Once getting into a car accident, you need to know what the most important first steps to take are. Following these steps will protect you and your passengers.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know.
1. Check Yourself and Passengers for Injuries
The very first thing you need to do after being involved in a car accident is check for injuries. Check yourself first and then check all of your passengers. Remember, your adrenaline is going to be high, your blood pressure is going to be high.
Because of these two factors, you might not notice an injury. With adrenaline running so high in your body, you might not feel pain. Take the time to look over yourself and your passengers with detail.
If you or a passenger are injured greatly, call 911 or ask someone nearby to call 911. If you’re able to move, then proceed to the next step.
2. Relocate to a Safe Place
If no one in your vehicle suffers extreme injuries, you can then focus on relocating to a safe place. If you’re unable to move your body due to an injury, then you won’t have the ability to relocate. If you are able to, however, drive the car to the safest place possible.
If the car is undrivable, turn the hazards on and relocate yourself to the safest place possible. For example, if the accident happened on the main road, either drive the car to a side street or put the hazards on and get yourself and your passengers off the main road.
3. Contact 911
If 911 hasn’t already been contacted, then now is the time to do so. Even the smallest of accidents should have the police called. Having the police come out and asses the accident is essential.
They will write a police report and give a ticket to the driver at fault if necessary. This police report will come in handy when filing a claim with your insurance company. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the police report will be your main source of proof.
You’d be surprised by how many drivers at fault try to deny fault after the accident happens. Without a report, proving that the accident wasn’t your fault will be much harder.
4. Exchange Information and File a Claim
With police on their way, it’s time to exchange information with the other driver and file your claim. Be sure to ask for the driver’s name, contact phone number, insurance provider, and license plate. You’ll need all of this information when filing the claim.
If possible, take a picture of their insurance card and their license plate number as well. Your insurance company will be able to start the claim process quicker if you have all this information ready before making the call.
Once you file your claim, your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will decide who’s at fault and which insurance will cover the damage.
5. Document the Accident and Contact an Attorney
Another great way to protect yourself is to have as much documentation of the accident as possible. This includes taking pictures of the entire scene. Take pictures of the inside and outside of your own car.
Then, take pictures of the other driver’s car as well. Take pictures of the roads involved with the accident and anything else that’ll help show your insurance company exactly what happened. Most insurance providers will allow you to upload these photos onto your account, and they’ll then review them.
Aside from taking photos, you may need to contact an attorney as well. Be sure to do your research and hire an attorney that has experience working with car accidents, such as this law firm. Once you have an attorney on your side, the majority of the work is then placed in their hands.
You can sit back and relax for the most part. Your attorney will advise you of the next steps you need to take, including seeing a doctor as soon as possible to report injuries and more. Your attorney will also be there to advise you of what not to do, such as speaking about the accident on social media before the case is closed.
This is why hiring an attorney is so important for car accidents involving major damage and injuries. They’ll be sure you get the compensation you deserve.
You’re Prepared for a Potential First Car Accident
Getting into your first car accident is a scary situation. All car accidents are whether it’s your first or 5th time! Staying prepared and knowing how to react are great ways to ensure you stay as calm as possible during the process.
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