There continue to remain certain situations that we have no control over. Facing a car accident despite driving carefully can happen to anyone. With the world hustling as they multitask, with partial attention all the time, accidents are more common today. The most common first reaction to a car accident is panic and extreme shock.
Nonetheless, it is very important to be aware of the most pragmatic steps one should take in such a situation. We have collated a listicle of all the things you should or should not do if you find yourself in a car accident. However, hiring a Cincinnati automobile accident attorney should always be on your list.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Even the most careful drivers can find themselves in an accident, and it’s best to be prepared. Here are the actions you should take following.
Pull Your Car Over to a Safe Spot
Car accidents can be of varying magnitudes and have different impacts. In case of a fender bender, you can pull your car aside into a safe spot with good lighting first. It is recommended to station your car in a public place where you and the other driver can be seen and heard by the people around.
Turn the Engine Off
The car tends to get heated when the engine is turned on, but the car isn’t moving. After stationing your car, turn the engine off to make your co-passengers and yourself comfortable.
Turn on Emergency Lights to Alert Other Cars on the Road
To ensure that no other vehicle is impacted due to the accident, turn on your emergency car lights to make the incoming vehicles aware of the situation. The vehicles can then avoid bumping into the scene and limit further disorder.
Check for Injuries
In case someone else is riding with you, you need to check yourself and your co-passengers for any injury. It is wise to keep a first-aid box inside your car all the time, as it could be crucial in such situations.
Only Move If You Aren’t Injured
After checking for injuries, if you and your co-passengers do not spot any, you can move from your seats to get out of the car or switch to a more comfortable position as you try to calm down.
Don’t Move if You Have Injuries
If you or your co-passengers are hurt, it is advised not to make any sudden moves as it can worsen the injuries. Call 911 and wait for an ambulance. In case you have children, elderly people, or pets with you, make sure to check them thoroughly and see if they can move before making further decisions.
Call an Ambulance
In case, there are any major injuries that need immediate medical attention, call an ambulance without delay. If you find it difficult to make a call, you can ask a passer-by for help in this regard. Do not delay seeking treatment.
Get Out of the Vehicle if You’re Not Hurt
If you are not hurt, and no harm was inflicted upon you, you can get out of the car after turning off the engine to take further steps such as calling the police or the insurance.
Stay at the Scene
Even though leaving the scene of an accident may seem like a good option at that moment, it is not going to be favorable for you. When the police intervention takes place, it will not look good on your part if you flee the scene exactly after the accident took place. It instantly puts you at a disadvantage that may negatively affect the case.
Contact the Police
Once you have taken care of the injuries and stationed your car, stay at the scene and call the police. There are legal procedures to handle car accidents, which should exclusively be handled by the police and not the parties involved.
Clearly state your location and car number to the police so that they can intervene at the earliest. If you find yourself with severe injuries, it is best to call 911.
In case the police cannot come immediately to a minor accident, you can go to the nearest police station and report the accident in detail (after you have calmed down). It is best to do this within 24 hours.
Document the Scene
You should document the accident scene as thoroughly as possible. Using either your phone or a pen and paper, write down the details you remember and that you can see around. Note down the number of cars involved, the color and model number of cars, and the location and time of the day.
It would help the case if you could take pictures of the scene and any property damage that may have been caused due to the accident. Pictures and live videos provide strong evidence and help build your case.
You should also exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver. Bonus tip: Remember always to keep insurance information in your car. It helps you be prepared for such situations.
Call a Tow Truck If Needed
If the situation demands more attention and the damages are severe, call a tow truck such that your car can be removed from the scene. Many people have motor club memberships that offer towing services or allow the police to call one for you.
Make sure you check the credentials of the tow truck company before giving them access to your car.
Call Your Insurance Company
It is of utmost importance to not skip this step. If you do, you will be held liable for any damages to your car due to the accident. Often settling the situation with the other driver seems like a reasonable option, but it will only get you into trouble.
It is best to let your insurance company handle the situation. If they find that you were not at fault for this accident, the insurance company may offer a liability waiver so that you don’t have to pay.
See a Doctor
Once you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure proper reporting and insurance claim, you must visit a doctor even if you didn’t find any active wounds on yourself at the scene. There might be internal impacts that do not show on the surface; thus, it is very important to get a health check-up.
That said, a Cincinnati personal injury attorney can guide you better and steer your case in the right direction. Contact us to learn more.