What To Do After You’ve Been In A Wreck

August 25th, 2022 by

When you’re on the road, unexpected events can happen. That’s why it’s beneficial to prepare yourself in case you’re in a car collision. Whether or not you caused the accident, there are various steps you need to take to address injuries, interact with people on the scene, and protect your financial interests. Read on to explore what to do after you’ve been in a wreck.

Get to Safety

Imageby Clark Van Der Bekenis licensed with Unsplash License

Immediately after an accident, you’ll probably feel disoriented. Try to stay calm and focused. First, check if you and your other passengers are okay and put your vehicle’s hazard lights on if you can. If you need to get out of your vehicle, inspect your surroundings and take extreme caution, especially if you’re on a busy road. It may be necessary to move yourself and your passengers a safe distance away from the collision.

If you can still drive your car, pull it over to the side of the road, out of the way of oncoming traffic. Move to a well-lit public place nearby, if possible. Doing this ensures that your car isn’t a road hazard for other drivers. Remember to stay on the scene while you await authorities.

Take Care of Your Passengers

If you have children in car seats in your vehicle, leave them in their car seats. They may have injuries, so wait for first responders to remove them from the seats and evaluate them for injuries. Make sure children, pets, and elderly people stay in the car instead of venturing into the road, but don’t forget about them being in a hot, locked vehicle. If you leave anyone in your car, make sure the engine is running and the air conditioning system is on.

Call the Authorities

After a collision, you may need to call 911 to reach an ambulance. Even if you or your passengers have only suffered minor injuries, it’s essential to get medical help immediately. When you call, tell the authorities your location, your name, and any other identifying information. If you’re not sure where you are, you can tell the authorities about an address nearby, mile markings, or landmarks. Stay on the line until the dispatcher has all the information they need.

Some states require you to call law enforcement after an accident. There are various ways to contact state police or highway patrol based on your location, but calling 911 is the primary method. Check your state’s website to learn how to report accidents properly and discover which emergency numbers you can call for assistance. If you’re out of state, calling 911 is your best option. You can also file a police report on the collision at a police station if necessary.

First responders may ask you how you’re feeling physically to help them assess your injuries. Police officers may ask you about your experience of what happened and how the crash occurred to understand what caused it. Try to stay calm and answer questions as clearly as you can. It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to some questions, as collisions can happen quickly and unexpectedly.

Gather Key Documents

Prepare the following documents and information to tell or show to authorities or the other driver after a crash:

  • Name and contact information.
  • Driver’s license.
  • Insurance company and policy number.
  • Type, color, model, and license plate numbers of the vehicles involved.
  • Location of the accident.

Document the Collision

After making sure everyone’s safe, document the crash. Take pictures or videos of the damage to both cars and talk to witnesses to get more details about what happened. Get the license plate number and insurance documents of the other driver. You can also get a copy of the police report. Having this documentation is helpful during the insurance claims process.

Assess the Other Driver

Assess the other driver from afar to determine whether it’s safe to talk to them. If there are signs of road rage or driving under the influence, avoid interacting with them, stay in a public area, and await law enforcement. Avoid expressing anger to the other driver, as this can escalate the situation. In some instances, it may be best to avoid talking to the other driver altogether. If you have any valuables in your vehicle, secure and conceal these after an accident.

If you choose to talk to the other driver, avoid discussing whose fault the accident was. Don’t say you’re sorry or make admissions, even if you think you’re at fault. Let the insurance companies determine fault to protect your legal and financial interests. In addition, avoid discussing potential injuries. You may not know what injuries you have from an accident right away, as physical injuries from collisions can take hours or days to manifest. The rush of adrenaline that accidents cause can delay your experience of physical pain.

In small fender benders, when no one calls law enforcement, you’ll probably interact directly with the other driver. In these cases, exchange your insurance information with them. While it may be tempting, avoid making a verbal deal with the other driver to exchange cash for damages instead of filing a claim.

File an Insurance Claim

Your insurance may provide towing services or rental car coverage after an accident, depending on your plan. File a claim as soon as possible after the accident to expedite the process and gain access to these kinds of services. If your car is still drivable, your next step may be to take it to a collision repair shop.

Visit the Applegate Collision Center

It can be frustrating when your vehicle has sustained damages due to a collision. That’s why the dedicated team at Applegate Collision Centeris ready to repair your vehicle properly and efficiently. We want to help you get back on the road as soon as possible, and we pride ourselves on our top-notch customer service. Schedule an appointment with ustoday. We offer a variety of services, including glass replacement, dent repair, and loaner cars. If you need a completely new car, check out our inventory of new and used vehicles.

Safe driving practices greatly decrease the chances of you getting into an accident. Unfortunately, unexpected collisions can still occur. Preparing for a crash can aid you in protecting yourself and your passengers. It can also help you in repairing or replacing your car in a timely manner.

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