A car accident can quickly become a huge legal and financial nightmare. You should know how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself in one.
Report the accident
If you are physically able to make a call, dial 911 and report the accident. The operator will ask you questions regarding your location, whether you or anyone else sustained injuries and the extent of the damages. They may ask you to describe the crash scene. Give specific details, but avoid explaining who is to blame for the accident. The operator should notify the police regarding the accident. The police report will be included in your documentation. Remain on the scene and wait for the police or paramedics to arrive.
Make sure you are safe
An accident can happen anywhere, even at a busy intersection. Do what you can to ensure you are in a safe position, not one where you become a hazard to other road users. If you can drive, move your vehicle to the right shoulder.
Gather evidence and information
Documentation and information can play a vital role in receiving maximum compensation. While waiting for the police, you can gather evidence by taking photos and videos of the crash from different angles. The images and video recordings can also allow you to account for dangerous weather conditions and road hazards.
Look around to see whether there may be proof that will help you should either you or one of the parties involved pursue a lawsuit. If the other driver is still on the scene, you should ask for their complete contact information and exchange vehicle details. Request for their insurance information as well. You may also capture videos of the other driver if they show signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech and difficulty balancing.
Check for witnesses and obtain their testimonies
You can get the names and contact information of people who witnessed the crash because you may need them to testify in court. Ask them to give you their account of the accident, as eyewitness testimonies will be beneficial for insurance claims.
Get medical attention
Once the paramedics or police arrive, they will ask you if you need medical attention. It would be best if you did not refuse because you could have sustained injuries from the collision without realizing it. If they do not immediately treat you at the crash scene, you should still go to a hospital for a comprehensive examination. Medical records and tests will also be part of your documentation.