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What To Do in a Car Accident

Apr 30, 2013

Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on our streets and highways. If you are in a accident it might not be your fault, but what you do after an accident is important, regardless of who the at-fault party might be. Here’s what you need to do and to think about if you ever get into a car accident:

1. Safety

The most important factor to consider in a traffic accident is that everyone is OK and that there are no major injuries. If you even suspect that someone has been injured, call an ambulance. If people are only a little shaken up, you should call the police – this is the first step in recording the incident. It may be a legal necessity, so make sure to follow protocol.

2. Record

After you have determined that everyone is OK or you have taken care of those who are injured, you must write down and take pictures of everything that happened.  After all, there’s no way you can recall all the details later on. You’ll need to recall:

  • Names, numbers, registrations and witness information, and details of what happened
  • Time of accident
  • Conditions of the road
  • Make, registration and the types of cars involved
  • Insurance details
  • Any people injured
  • Diagram or picture of the accident

3. Insurance

If you are filing a claim, the insurance companies will also need to know that an accident has taken place. This should also be done immediately after you take account of the details above. They may need these details to process the claims.

4. Recall Details

The details are so important in an accident — they can make or break a claim. Get the numbers of the police, other people’s insurers and witnesses’ numbers and names. When it comes to legal issues and insurance claims, having these details at hand is crucial. Other details that are important to know are towing costs, storage charges, whether you are using a contract hire or car rental, and any other costs incurred.

5. Doctor

Many people tend to feel OK immediately after an accident. However, they may not feel the full effects of the accident until later on. If you feel ill or sore, consult your doctor. Often, aches and pains take time to develop. If you do go to your doctor, make sure to document the issues at hand in case there is a hearing or investigation.

6. Last but Not Least

Never admit you were wrong after an accident. Admitting cause is considered a statement of guilt. Give all the facts but never admit you were wrong. Also, never sign paper work and never blame anyone else. These actions can lead to all sorts of issues.

Cormac Reynolds writes for a variety of websites and insurance blogs and has also written a substantial amount on automotive topics.

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