Yearly, around 6 million Americans are involved in a car accident. As one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., knowing what to do when you’ve been in a car accident is crucial.
There will be a flooding of emotions and chaos that happens in a car accident. Being prepared means following a step-by-step approach.
Your actions in the seconds, minutes, and hours after an auto accident are crucial to your continued health and financial well being. Make sure you’re legally covered and prepared for the fallout.
1. Check the Scene
One of the most important things to do after you’ve been in a car accident is checking your surroundings and evaluating the severity of the situation.
This includes but is not limited to your passengers, yourself, the vehicle, and the state of the location. Once you’ve determined what injuries there are, if any, you can proceed with the rest of your process.
The first check after an accident is the most important piece of the puzzle. Safety remains first in priority.
2. Call 911
Once you’ve determined your vehicle is in a safe position away from the road, call 911. Phoning the police is legally required in some states. Police and paramedics can follow their step-by-step process to ensure everyone at the scene is safe.
An accident report and documentation of the scene will proceed when a responding officer arrives. Getting a police report is important when you’re filing a claim with your insurance company for any damages.
3. Document and Photograph
Although the police will do some of this themselves, you should have your thoughts in order. A good process of documenting the scene begins with making an accurate record of the accident.
Make sure you’re telling the investigating officer what happened in detail. There isn’t room for speculation or guessing. Both parties involved in the accident will have their side to the story. Make sure whatever you’re telling the police is accurate and backed by the state of the scene.
During this time, you should also document any injuries you may have experienced.
If you’re okay health-wise, take some pictures. Photos are great to pass along to your auto insurance company. Pictures should also be taken of any injuries you’ve sustained that are visible.
4. Report the Car Accident
Once you’ve run through your checklist or an Elrodpope.com guide, it’s time to report the accident to your insurance company.
During this process, you’ll have already taken photographs, assessed the situation, and allowed police to collect information. Insurance companies often require an immediate report with full cooperation.
If you have medical benefits or medpay and have sustained injuries, ask about that process. You’ll likely need submitted medical bills once you’ve seen medical attention.
Don’t forget most car accident injuries aren’t immediately apparent. If you feel like you need to see medical attention, don’t wait. The aftermath of a car accident will likely pop up 24 to 48 hours after.
Prepare for What’s Next
A car accident can be scary. A good way to limit the anxiety and pressure of the situation is to have a plan.
With most things in life, information is key to handling any situation. On our website, we provide blogs to get you through all of life’s avenues.
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