It's easy to get into a tizzy after a car accident. Who wouldn't, really?
Car accidents are one of the riskiest things an average person will ever experience. According to Association for Safe International Road Travel, nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year averaging in 3,287 deaths a day.
It brings us to the assumption that a person who's driving since he was a teenager can have as much as 4 minor accidents in his lifetime. Before the mishap occurs - hopefully not - make sure you know all the appropriate course of actions following a minor car accident.
Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons | Walter
To shed light on this, here's what most people might miss doing and some tips on what to do:
- Moving to a safe spot Drivers involved in minor accidents must move the car to the side of a road. Should a driver found the car still drivable, it's best to take it to a safe spot to avoid causing another accident. Not moving the car, thinking it will disturb evidence that it was one's fault, is a misconception. A police will ask to move it off the road for safety and traffic concerns.
- Contacting emergency medical service
- Calling the police
- Document the car accident
- Calling a lawyer Phew! Fortunately surviving a minor accident leaves most people in shock and couldn't focus. However, for times like these, it's pretty handy to have your personal injury lawyer's number. It's wise to consult a legal professional especially if it was the other party's fault and the injuries were serious, causing you to deal with sky-high medical expenses. If you happened to have disputes with your insurance company, an experienced lawyer will make certain that you get the compensation you merit.
The primary concern after a car accident is everybody's safety. If possible, give immediate first aid. Keeping an emergency kit in your compartment will be of great help in times like this. In the event that nobody can give first aid, communicate with emergency medical service right away.
One of the biggest mistakes people do is not calling 911 and resorting to a "gentleman agreement" with the other party.
But what if the driver you wrecked with does not have a car insurance? It's you who will eventually go up the creek without a paddle. In most states, Illinois, for example, it's required to report a car accident even if nobody's injured. A law enforcer may not respond if there are no injuries, but it's a must to file an accident report. Whereas damage is not severe and there are no injuries, a police officer will take information from both parties, which takes us to the next thing many people forget doing.
It's a jurisdiction in most states to exchange information between two parties (or more for multiple vehicle collision).
Get the other party's name, address, phone number, insurance information, as well as the driver's license number. Chronicle as many things as possible. Write down the car's make and model. Aside from a pen and a paper, you'll also need a good camera or a phone that can clearly record videos. "Photographic evidence is another way to show what happened in the accident, so try to get pictures of the damage to your car," Rob Bohn of Bohn Law, recommends.
These are just some tips, hopefully of course you don't get yourself into any minor accident at all, but in case faced with such unfortunate circumstances, be prepared to take the necessary and recommended actions.