Without a doubt, a car accident can be a traumatizing experience. In the heat of the moment, you can be at crossroads in deciding what you should do next. It helps to be prepared and know in advance the most important steps to take.
Always stay at the scene and wait for the police and ambulance to arrive. Contact your lawyer and the insurance company. Document the scene by taking a few shots with your camera. Stay calm and take things one step at a time.
Do Not Leave the Accident Scene
To begin with, do not flee the accident scene. This is a rule to adhere to even when the crash seems to be minor. If there are no damages, it would be best to exchange contacts with the other drivers.
On the other hand, if the collision seems significant, it would be wise to check for injuries. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately. Try to stay calm during this stage as it will help you make the right decision.
Try To Get Your Car Off the Road
It is vital to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road. Therefore, pull your vehicle over to the side. If the accident happens at night, make sure to keep your hazard lights on. This will communicate to the approaching vehicles that they need to be cautious.
If you are too hurt to move the car, leave your hazard lights on and get yourself to a safe place. This ensures that you don’t cause more injuries to yourself or the passengers.
Report the Accident to The Police
If you are involved in a car accident, the best move is to inform police officers of the incident. This is a necessary step even when the accident is minor. The law enforcement officers have to prepare a report of the incident and call for medical assistance if there are injuries at the scene. Other responsibilities of the officers include:
- Ensuring the safety of everyone
- Making sure the traffic flow is not disrupted with
- Making arrangements of how the damaged cars will be removed
The police report issued for the collision will be a valuable addition to your case file. Consult your Tampa car accident attorney for further information.
Exchange Relevant Information With the Other Driver
Even with police enforcement officers present at the scene, you should still get information from the other driver. Exchanging insurance data is necessary as it helps determine who will be held responsible for the injuries incurred from the accident. Other information you are required to trade are:
- Name and contact number
- Driver’s license
- License plate number
- Vehicle’s model
Document the Damages at the Accident Scene
Even when you and the police officers have gathered all the relevant information regarding the car accident, you still need documentation. It would be best to take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved in the crash. If you were injured, also take photos of your wounds. The pictures are pieces of evidence that will help you when filing an insurance claim.
Inform Your Insurance Company of the Accident
The right thing to do is report the accident to your insurance company immediately. This is one way to ensure that your claim is resolved in a short time. To solidify your claim, share the photos you took and the police report. To make sure that this process is smooth for you, contact your car accident attorney.
Consult a Lawyer
Filing your insurance claim does not necessarily mean that the company will act on it immediately. For this reason, you should consult a Tampa car accident lawyer. The lawyer will help you table the relevant evidence to help you get compensated.
Also, they will ensure that your rights are protected in the process. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be devastating. However, it helps to stay calm as this will make the process less hectic.