Car accidents. Two words that you would hate to hear in the event that it happens to you. It is an unfortunate fact of life that driving will always have some risks associated with it. Having this in mind, it is also impossible to live your life free of danger, but you should never be free of worry either. When it comes to car accidents, many drivers are not sure what they should or what they need to know because they never think it will happen to them. That kind of attitude is no good, because while you should not have to live in fear on the road, you should be prepared for any instance.
Car accidents can happen to anyone, so that means anyone should benefit from these questions and how to answer them.
What Should I Do First?
From the initial accident, one of the first things that happens is usually shock. This can cause cloudy judgement, and uncertainty of what to do next – or first. The first thing to try to do is stay calm. It might sound easier said than done, but staying calm greatly increases your chances of handling the situation better. Confronting the other driver is never advised, as escalating the situation can only end poorly for either party. Similarly, you want to make sure that you, or anyone else, is not seriously harmed.
Do I Contact Emergency Services?
Yes. Always contact emergency services after an accident, no matter how big or how small. This not only helps in the case that someone needs medical attention or there is a concern for health, but also in taking responsibility and showing initiative. Fire, EMS, or the police are always who you should be reaching out to first to help close off the scene and give your report to help streamline the process of resolving the incident.
Should I Get Legal Representation?
In most cases, the answer is also yes. Assuming you do not have a background in law, you are likely looking at a potential case or settlement and you will be a bit up to your neck in terms of what you do and do not know of your legal situation. Legal representation can get all your questions answered thoroughly, but also help you figure out your best course of action when it comes to how you want to handle the situation. The other party may even try to press charges or deny a settlement, which is where a lawyer who specializes in car accident cases will be able to walk you through everything. Their advice and expertise is only going to make things easier for you, and take the stress of dealing with the accident off your shoulders so you can focus on getting better, or anything else in your life.
Is Reporting The Accident to My Insurance Company a Good Idea?
Unless it is a tiny fender bender and there is limited damage, you should probably reach out to your insurance company. Paying off a small scratch or ding or dump is one thing, but in a full blown accident where there could be thousands of dollars in damages, you do not want to be paying out of pocket, or relying on the other motorist to do so. The responsibility of having the insurance company run their report and investigation can help you if you need that legal aid, and possibly help your pocket. Many accidents can be fully covered by your insurance, assuming it falls under the protection you have, and it depends on their investigation.
Should I Collect Evidence?
A lot of people ask this question, and it is an important one for sure. Collecting evidence is never a bad idea because it helps streamline the investigation, report, case, or claim. Taking photos of the scene, the time, date, names, numbers, and any other kind of information will help you get back to normal as quickly as possible. The insurance companies and police will greatly appreciate this, as well as a lawyer if you go that route. Anything to make it easier for everyone, and help you prove your side, is a good thing to do.
As you can see, there’s a lot of questions to ask yourself in the event of a car accident. While it can be a jarring situation, and you may forget some of the tips here, if you continue to read them and remind yourself of what kinds of things you need to do, you will be prepared in the case that this happens to you.