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10 Tips For What to Do In Case of a Car Accident.
Although we try diligently to avoid car accidents by driving defensively and know that it is much better not to get involved in an accident at all, you may be wondering, what exactly should I do if I'm ever involved in a car accident? Well, in this brief article, we will discuss the top 10 things that you should do if you're ever involved in a car accident. So, sit back, relax and get ready to learn!
1. Remain calm and stay put. First and foremost, remain calm and don't keep going. Although you may be feeling tense, excited, upset or all three emotions, the absolute worse thing that you can do is flee. Yes, it might feel tempting to drive away but fleeing from the scene of the incident is never a good idea and may bring harsh penalties. Instead, you should remain where you are, stay calm and by all means, DO NOT FREAK OUT. By maintaining a calm and focused demeanor, you'll remain in control and will be able to provide key information.
2. Move out of the way. If your car is located in a high traffic area, you should move out of the loop of upcoming traffic. By moving your car, you may be able to avoid another accident. The only exception to this is if your car is so badly damaged that it can't be moved. If that is the case, simply leave it where it is until you have assistance.
3. Check out your passengers. Check to see if anyone needs medical attention in your car first and then in the other car(s). If they do, seek medical assistance immediately by calling 911 if in the USA or 000 in Australia (use your common sense if outside these countries and look up the emergency contact number). Explain the situation and give the exact location of the accident. Act quickly and calmly because you have no time to waste. Time is of the essence in getting the required care for the injured person(s). If you're trained in first aid then implement medical procedures. Just remember to never move someone who is badly hurt (unless you believe that moving them might prevent further injuries).
4. Don't admit fault. Even if you believe that the accident was your fault, you should never, ever admit fault to anyone other than your insurance agent or your lawyer. Never discuss your feelings with the other involved party and never agree to pay for any damages. Instead, don't discuss it at all and remember that anything you say can and will most likely be utilized against you. According to Angela Payton, an attorney with Angela Payton's Law Office, "Many people wrongly admit fault because they get so caught up in the emotions of being in an accident that they blurt out fault without thinking or evaluating the facts. They get caught up in the moment and don't have time to process the incident. As a result, they end up making an untrue statement based off emotions that adversely affects their case. Instead, they should take some time to evaluate the facts, discuss the issue with their attorney and then make a fault based determination."
5. Warn other motorists. Warn other motorists that the accident has occurred. This can be accomplished by placing emergency flares on the road or turning on your car's hazard lights. Another option is to lift the car's engine. This will signal to other motorist to steer clear of your car and the accident site.
6. Report the accident. Contact the police immediately to report the accident. When you reach them, remain calm and speak clearly. Tell them exactly where you're located so that they can find you. They'll likely inform you whether they'll be sending an officer or whether you'll be required to meet them at the station to file a police report
7. Contact insurance company. After you contact the police, contact your insurance company to report the claim. Many policies require this step to approve of your claim and may deny it if you don't call in a timely manner. When you talk to your claim representative, be prepared to give them detailed information about the accident.
8. Exchange vital information. Exchange vital information with the other driver. Make sure that you obtain their name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver's license numbers of all drivers and witnesses, insurance company information and policy numbers. Also jot down the make of their car, year, model, V.I.N. number, license plate and sticker expiration date. Lastly, write down any names and addresses of all witnesses and the name and badge number of any officers.
9. Draw a detailed diagram. Draw a detailed diagram of the accident which includes a picture of both cars before, during, and after the accident. In addition, if you notice any skid marks, lights, stop signs, etc., make sure that you include them as well. Lastly, if you have a camera or picture phone, make sure that you take photographs because these may be used as evidence.
10. Fill out a police report. Next, take your time when filling out the police report. Be as accurate and truthful as you can and provide the police with all requested information. Write clearly and be as detailed as you possibly can.
In conclusion, no one wants to be involved in a car accident. However, if you are involved in one, you don't have to panic. Instead, you should remain calm and don't drive away. Stay put, don't admit fault, move away from incoming traffic, evaluate your passengers, warn other motorists, report the accident, contact insurance company, exchange vital information, draw a detailed diagram and fill out a police report. By doing this, you'll improve upon a very difficult situation and provide invaluable aid when it is needed the most.
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