A shocking six million car accidents happen every year in the United States. Property damage is, of course, the most common issue many drivers will face following a collision.
However, it is believed one in three accidents will result in a personal injury to either a driver or passenger, and two in ten accidents can unfortunately be fatal. For this reason, we are providing helpful advice on the actions you need to take following a car accident.
Stop the Car
It doesn’t matter if you have been involved in a minor or major car accident, you must stop the car immediately and do not attempt to drive away from the scene.
Prevent Additional Accidents
Prevent further accidents from taking place by turning on the car’s flashers and setting up flares. Always keep a flashlight in the vehicle, so you can keep it on if your lights don’t work in the dark following an accident. Wait by the side of the road for medical attention or assistance.
Call the Police
It’s always a wise decision to call the police following a car accident, even if both drivers and their passengers have no serious injuries. An insurance company may also require a police report to effectively file a claim. Every vehicle in the car accident should remain in the same location.
Once the police arrive on the scene, only tell the investigating officer all the facts you can remember to the best of your ability. Do not omit information or speculate about an accident. If an officer asks if you are injured but you are unsure, do not say “no”. Instead, inform the officer you are not sure, as he or she will ensure you receive medical attention. While you may not feel any immediate pain, injuries can often develop hours after a car accident.
If you have a smartphone or camera, try to take photos of the damage to all vehicles. Yet, do not do so if it will interfere with a police investigation. You may have another opportunity to take photographs.
An investigating officer may take all drivers’ information following a collision, and will provide a police report number. However, if the police are not quick to respond, ask for the name, address and telephone number for every person involved in the car accident, including the passengers. Drivers should also provide their insurance details to exchange information, and ask any witnesses for their information so you can contact them in the future.
Report a Car Accident
It’s important to notify the insurance company as soon as possible following a car accident, as an auto insurance claim’s success might be determined by your cooperation and reporting time.
Receive Medical Attention
Everyone involved in a car collision should seek immediate medical attention, even if they believe they are okay. Shock can often take over a person’s body, and they may not experience any pain or health issues until the next day. Don’t take any chances and visit a local emergency room.