After a car accident, the first thoughts are getting the victims to the hospital and contacting the police and your insurance company for claims. While these steps are straightforward and come to mind quickly, there are other necessary steps you are likely to forget. A Rochester accident lawyer suggests that you take the following five steps immediately after an accident;-
The safety of the accident victims, as well as other road users, should come first. If you are conscious but too injured, try not to move. Instead, cry out for help and wait for the emergency response team. If you are not too injured to move, check on the condition of your passengers. Do not try to move them if they are too injured.
Move any vehicles that can be moved to the roadside. Otherwise, it is best to leave the car in place and get yourself to safety. Instead, use cones, flares, and other indicators to alert other road users that an accident has occurred.
Even if there are no significant injuries or damages, it is best to call emergency services and the police to the scene. In some states, it is a legal requirement that you call 911 after an accident. This way, the accident victims can be assessed for severe injuries they were not aware of, as the police investigate the accident scene.
If the police cannot come to the scene, go to the nearest police station and complete a report yourself. Your insurance company may ask for the report to complete your insurance claims, as well as in court, in case you are sued.
Exchange Contact Information
After ensuring you and the other accident victims are safe, exchange contact and insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. Try not to go over the details of who is at fault. That is the work of the adjuster put in charge of your insurance claim. The information you collect should include;-
- Full name and how to contact them
- The driver’s license
- The car’s plate number, the insurance company, and policy number
- Color and model of the car
- Location of the accident
For future reference, you must take note of the following;-
- Police officers’ identity – Take their names and badge numbers
- Get a copy of the police report for when you file an insurance claim
- Take photos – Take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible from different angles. They will come in handy when placing your insurance claims.
- If there are any witnesses, ensure you note down their names and contact information
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contacting your insurance agent while at the accident scene will help you know what you need to place your claim. Some may even explain what to expect during the claims process to help prepare you psychologically. Ensure you keep the documents and photos you collected in order.
It is usual for one to be shaken and a little confused after an accident. However, taking the above steps helps protect you from unnecessary worries so you can focus on getting back on your feet as soon as possible.