Simple tips for when you are involved in a car accident

There are many important procedures and precautions to know at the time of a car accident. During the confusion and anxiety you may not think of what to do. You very likely may never have given a thought about what you need to do. Here are some simple tips to be aware of when you are in a car accident.

1.      Driver and passenger injuries

Not every injury is apparent at the scene. You or your passengers may have adrenaline running through your body masking your injuries, sometimes serious injuries.  Many people feel fine the day of the accident, but wake up the next day with a stiff neck or back pain.  So it is extremely important to seek medical attention and get yourself checked out on the day of the accident.  If needed, you should follow up with your primary care provider or chiropractor the next day.

2.     Know your surroundings

There is nothing worse than being in a car accident and not being aware of the speed limit and traffic lights/stop signs in the area.  Look at the basics of the area and be able to use this information when presenting your side of the story to the office at the scene.

3.     Damages and injuries at the scenes

If someone is injured or the damages are over $1,000 you should call the police to make a report. Take pictures of all damage and make notes of everything that happened. If the vehicle’s repair cost exceeds its current value it is considered totaled. Generally, it does not take a lot of damage to total a vehicle.

4.      Witnesses

Witnesses are key in determining who is at fault in an accident. This witness can even be a traffic or security camera pointed at the street that taped the accident. Always get names and contact information of everyone who witnessed the accident or the scene afterwards.

5.      Driver’s Behavior

If the other driver has any level of impairment due to alcohol use, call the police immediately and do not confront this driver.

6.      Get their information

Get the information of the other driver, specifically get their name, contact information, insurance information, driver license, license plate number, and write down the details of the accident.

7.      Location of car

If no one is injured, move the car to a safe location out of traffic. If it cannot be driven put on the hazard lights (if possible). Don’t move the car if someone is injured or it will put anyone in danger. If you are unsure of what to do, wait for the police.

8.      Name the time, date and exact location.

Be able to recall the time, date, and exact location for the police officer/insurance company.

9.      Previous Damage

Check and see if the other vehicle has damage that may not have been caused by this accident. This can include damage away from the collision site, cracks or dents that were not caused by this accident.

Remember to always call the police in the event you are in an accident. Exchange information with the other driver, but avoid being confrontational.  If the other party is angry or aggressive, wait to exchange information until the police

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