Most aspects of owning a car are fun, but getting in an accident certainly isn’t one of them. Unfortunately, most people get into an accident at some point in their lives; it’s just one of those things that eventually happens, no matter how good of a driver you are. As scary as accidents are, the majority of them don’t result in serious injury. However, no matter the severity of an accident, it’s imperative to know how to handle the situation, and what steps to take in the immediate aftermath.
Lots of adrenaline, anxiety, and panic can follow an accident, which can make it very difficult to think clearly. Because of this, it’s important to give some thought as to how to handle an accident, so that if the moment occurs, you’ll be prepared to act accordingly. Here’s a checklist for what to do immediately after you’ve been in an accident:
- If your car is still in drivable condition, pull over to the shoulder, or into a turnout or non-busy road.
- Make sure that you are in okay physical condition.
- Make sure that any passengers in your vehicle are in okay physical condition.
- If you and your passengers are fine, make sure that anyone else involved in the accident is in okay physical condition.
- If anyone is seriously injured, immediately call 911.
- If the accident is serious, even if no one is injured, call the police to report the accident.
- If your vehicle cannot safely be driven, call a tow truck to come move your car.
- Exchange insurance information with all other vehicles involved in the accident.
- Get your vehicle home, or to a shop. If you are driving your car, travel low and slow, in case there is any internal damage that you’re not aware of.
Getting your car off of the road, and getting you home safely, is the most important part following any accident. But once that has been completed, there’s still some work to be done. Once the dust has settled, here’s what to do:
- Check again to make sure that you’re okay. The adrenaline of an accident can keep you from noticing that you’re injured. Once you’re home and calmed down, take stock of your body to make sure that you’re feeling okay. If you’re not, head to the doctor’s office, or the emergency room.
- Write down all important information about the accident, including the time at which it occurred, the location at which it occurred, and everything you can remember about the incident. This will help when filing a claim report.
- Call your car insurance provider and tell them that you were involved in an accident.
- File a claim report.
- Arrange to have your vehicle repaired.
As scary and nerve-wracking as an accident may be, the followup shouldn’t add to your stress. It’s relatively straightforward to take care of your car and your insurance following an accident. Simply follow this checklist, and you can ensure that you’ll be less anxious should an accident occur.