The goal of planning a road trip with friends or family is to explore and have a great time. You don’t really plan for the possibility of being in a car accident, but there’s no predicting some twists and turns.
If you do find yourself faced with the fallout of a vehicle collision, it’s wise to know what to do. Traveling long distances on the roads can leave you in a compromised position as a weary driver. When accidents happen, follow these few safety steps to properly handle the situation with confidence.
Check the well-being of everyone in your vehicle
Once your vehicle comes to a complete stop, there are a few quick decisions to be made. First, check the well-being of everyone in your vehicle. If everyone is okay, move on to the next step.
If there are critical injuries, do what you can to keep that person comfortable until help arrives. It’s typically best not to move an injured individual, but some situations call for swift movement. If the vehicle is on fire, you have to find a way to get them out.
Move to a safe spot if possible
If the collision was minor enough that you can still drive your vehicle, move your vehicle to a safe spot out of the way of traffic. Many people think that it is illegal to move the vehicle after a wreck, but there are only a few situations where you should leave the vehicle in the middle of the road.
If someone is critically injured or it’s physically impossible, you should leave the scene as it is. Insurance companies need to know specifics to begin doling out financial assistance afterward.
Notify the local authorities
As soon as you can, get in touch with the local police. It’s likely that they are already on their way, but you should call just to make certain. You don’t want to be stuck waiting for any longer than is necessary.
Contact a lawyer if necessary
If the situation seems like it may get a bit complicated, you may need to hire a lawyer to help you sort things out. There are legal professionals who specialize in car accidents, so make sure to choose the appropriate type of lawyer.
Never admit fault to anyone
NO matter what you do, never admit fault in a car accident to anyone. You don’t know whether or not the wreck was truly by any fault of your own, and you can do damage to your insurance claim by saying such things. Leave it to the police and your insurance company to figure out who is to blame for the incident.
Take thorough documentation of the collision
Though the police will document the scene of the accident, it could be helpful for you to take some pictures. Take detailed photos of the vehicles involved, any skid marks on the road, and anything else you think might be helpful for your upcoming insurance claim.
Notify your car insurance company
As soon as you are finished at the scene of the accident, make a call to your insurance agent. Start your claim as soon as possible, so you won’t be without a working vehicle for any longer than is necessary.