Being involved in a car accident is a harrowing experience. It’s therefore important to know ahead of time what you should do if you ever find yourself involved in one, as the trauma and shock of the incident may mean you’re unable to think clearly in the moment. Here are six key steps to remember should you find yourself involved in a car accident.
Step 1: Exit the Vehicle and Mark as a Hazard
Even if your accident has only been a slight bump, you need to stop and investigate further. Safely exiting the vehicle and marking the accident for other drivers is key. You should put your hazard lights on or use any other hazard equipment to mark the spot, and then leave your vehicle and step to a safe place to proceed.
Step 2: Be Aware of Any Injuries
The shock of a car accident can often make your mind and body numb to any damage in the first instance. It’s important to be aware of any significant injuries before you move. If you’re unable to move to a safe space, be sure to still put your hazard lights on and remain in the vehicle for medical attention to be brought to you. It’s important never to move if you suspect spine or head injuries.
If you are able to move to a safe spot, pay attention to any pain or cause for concern.
Step 3: Seek Medical Attention Immediately if Necessary
If injuries are extremely severe, then this needs to be your first focus. Ignore any issues regarding your vehicle damage or needing to gain details of the accident, and instead focus only on getting medical attention straight away. Don’t try to move if your injuries are extremely severe and wait for medical attention.
Step 4: Take a Record of the Accident
Take note of as many details as you can regarding the accident. It’s important to do this as soon as possible while the details are still fresh in your mind, as there may be points you will be unable to recall later. It’s also a good idea to take photographs of the scene, including any damage to your vehicle. All these details will help in damage claims and when consulting with a car accident lawyer so that you can ensure you get the amount owed to you.
Step 5: Speak With Others Involved
If your accident has involved other drivers, whether they were at fault or not, you should be sure to take their personal details, such as contact information and vehicle information. They may also need medical attention and assistance, so it’s important to assess the situation of other drivers if they appear to be injured.
Step 6: Begin Your Recovery Plan
When all details relating to the scene have been taken, and medical attention has been called, you can begin the right steps to recover from your accident. Consult with those you need to make a claim, gain medical advice if you are injured regarding a treatment plan, and make a decision based on your vehicle (such as whether it needs to be towed, replaced, or repaired).
When it comes to a car accident, safety is always paramount, so assess your immediate safety needs before anything else.