No one plans to be in a car accident. But in an emergency, in the heat of the moment, things that might seem like common sense can get forgotten. Because of that, it’s a good idea to think ahead of time about what steps you need to take if you are ever in an accident.
Safety is always the first priority, so immediately after the accident make sure that you are not in any immediate danger and don’t do anything to place yourself at additional risk. Once you know that you are safe, call the police as soon as possible.
You should also exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident, including license plate number, state of registration, driver’s license number, insurance company, and insurance policy number. But, remember to be careful what you say – a seemingly innocent statement may be used against you later as an admission of fault. Even if you think you caused the accident, information may be revealed later which determines that you are not at fault, so be careful what you say!
It is also important to gather as much information as you can, so pay attention to what people around you are saying. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene of the accident and all vehicles involved.
If you are injured, be sure to seek treatment. Many people do not feel the full extent of their injuries until a day or two after an accident. However, if you think you are hurt, it is important to get checked out as soon as possible to determine the extent of your injuries.
Finally, contact your insurance company to notify them about the accident. You need to cooperate with your own insurance company, but do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company until you first speak to an attorney.