Do you know the proper steps to take after a car accident? Even with minor accidents, it’s important to follow certain procedures, both to mitigate damage and injuries, as well as to ensure you can successfully file an insurance claim regarding what occurred. To help you along, The Balance offers the following advice.
Never leave the scene
Even if you’re not at fault for what occurred, never leave the scene of the accident. You may be found guilty of a hit and run, which can incur harsh legal penalties. You’ll also be deprived of the opportunity of taking the following steps, which are beneficial when the accident was caused by another person’s negligence. Even if you’re the victim of a hit and run, stay put and wait for law enforcement to arrive to proceed with reporting the accident.
Call the police
Even if there are no major injuries, the police are extremely helpful at accident scenes. Firstly, they help control traffic so no other wrecks occur. This is especially important if you’re unable to move your vehicle. Secondly, they’ll compile a police report which can be useful when making an accident claim. When speaking with police, never admit fault, even if you feel responsible for some aspect of what occurred.
Talk to other drivers & witnesses
Make sure you exchange contact information with the other drivers involved. This includes your name and the name of your insurance company, which allows you both to make a claim. If there are bystanders on the scene, ask for their names and contact information as well. They may be able to provide a statement on what occurred if the case goes to court. Finally, try to document what occurred while it’s fresh in your mind by taking notes. You can also take pictures of the accident scene.