What to Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved, especially if you’re behind the wheel.

An already disastrous situation can be made even worse without doing things systematically and calmly. But there are number of things you can and should do to in case you’re in a car accident.

Don’t Panic and Stay Calm

One of the most important things to do after an accident is to remain calm and avoid panicking. It is particularly important to maintain a cool head especially during high-stress situations. Make sure to collect your thoughts and assess the situation before stepping out of the car. But be sure to check on yourself before you check on your car.

Check yourself for any injuries and see if you are in any immediate danger. If you feel panic taking hold of you, simply close your eyes for a few seconds and take control of your breathing. If you have been injured, make sure to inform anyone nearby about your situation.

Make Sure All Drivers, Passengers and Pedestrians are Safe

As soon as you’ve calmed down and checked yourself for injuries, immediately check if any of your passengers have been hurt in the accident. If the accident is particularly serious, take the time to check on them personally. Shock and trauma can impair someone’s ability to assess their own safety and disposition, and sometimes another person is needed to make a proper assessment.

Once you’ve checked on your passengers, immediately check on any other drivers, passengers and pedestrians who may have been involved in the accident.

Make Contact with Any Drivers Involved in the Accident

After making sure that all people in the accident area are safe and/or being aided, it’s important to touch base with the other drivers involved.

Remember to stay calm when talking to other drivers since discussions can become heated especially right after an accident. Introduce yourself calmly and assess the situation together. Don’t be quick to point fingers and lay blame. Instead, work together to get aid for any injured passengers, pedestrians or other bystanders.

Even if you believe you’re at fault, do not admit liability or confess of any wrong-doing with regards to the accident. This is a legal precaution. Any kind of confession can be used against you, which can amount to preposterous post-accident claims.

Exchange contact information with other drivers, and keep the discussion with other drivers as civil and as simple as possible.

Call the Relevant Authorities

This step should be done earlier, if there are injuries. Alert any nearby hospitals or emergency hotlines in case anyone needs to be immediately evacuated or treated. Notify the police if there is property damage or injury.

While it is possible to sort out the details of a minor accident amicably with other drivers involved, don’t hesitate to call in the help of the authorities in case little headway is being made.

Inform Your Insurance Company

After the immediate concerns have been settled, make sure to acquire the necessary paper work for the inevitable insurance claims Inform your insurance company of the accident as quickly as possible and be sure to have all the necessary details on hand.

If you aren’t sure about the kind of documentation needed to make an insurance claim, don’t hesitate to ask your insurer about their claim policy.

Additional problems can be avoided even after the worst of accidents as long as you’re able to make the right decisions and maintain a cool head.