What do you do when you get into a fender bender? Instinctively, when someone bumps into your car and vice versa, you would stop and inspect the damage. Some drivers even exchange information and settle damages out of pocket without informing their insurance company. But are you doing the right thing? And what happens after that? Well, here are five things you should know if you have a minor or a major car accident: –
1. Assess the Incident
Are you or the other motorist involved in the accident injured? If so, you may need urgent medical help. Dial 911 for the paramedics and the police. Next, ask for the full names and contact information of the other driver involved in the accident. Also, jot down their insurance company, policy number, driver’s license, and license plate number. Also, talk to witnesses of the car accident. Here, get their full names and contact information. The information will come in handy for any potential lawsuit afterward.
2. Take Pictures
After calling the emergency hotline, take photos of the accident scene. These include pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident, snapshots of the damage from different angles, and the location of the accident. These images will come in handy when reconstructing how the accident unfolded. More so, they will help to determine who was at fault.
3. Move to a Safer Zone
Are you in danger? For example, if the accident is on a highway, alight and move away from oncoming cars. Likewise, if there is a fuel leak, keep a safe distance from the vehicle, it may explode at any time. If there is no danger, and you can move your car off the road, do so to avoid collision with oncoming traffic.
4. Don’t Hit and Run
A hit-and-run is a punishable offense that can attract a significant fine, jail time, or permanently tarnish your record. Regardless of whether you are at fault or not, never drive away or run from the accident scene. You could be the only hope for the injured person surviving the accident before the paramedics arrive. Also, the law enforcement officers rely on your input to assess and report the accident quickly and efficiently.
5. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If the accident caused injuries to one or more of the motorists, it is impossible to determine the extent of the harm and compensation necessary on the spot. As a precaution, always report the car accident to a personal injury attorney. The car accident lawyer will take you through your options and help you maximize recovering the damages.
If you are in a car accident that resulted in injuries, the affected party can sue the person at fault. Hence, avoid discussing the facts about the accident with the other driver or witnesses. Instead, ensure you have the names and badge numbers of the responding police officers and request a copy of the accident report from them. Then, file an insurance claim and let the professionals take it up.