When you get behind the wheel and hit the road, you probably do so with the idea of reaching your destination without incident. Even with the best intentions, you realize that you could be involved in a car accident at some point.
Any accident, regardless of the severity, is sure to throw you for a curve. As a result, you may not be thinking clearly. This is why it’s so important to know exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do should you find yourself in this position.
Here are six steps to take after a car accident:
1. Move your car to a safe place, such as the shoulder of the road. You want to get your vehicle out of traffic so you don’t risk being part of a secondary crash.
2. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Your health and well-being should be at the top of your priority list.
3. Call 911. This one phone call will ensure that police and an ambulance arrive at the scene of the accident as quickly as possible.
4. Collect information regarding the accident. This can include everything from contact info of other drivers to photos of the scene.
5. Contact your insurance company. You should avoid saying too much before speaking with a lawyer, but you definitely want to let your insurer know that you got into an accident.
6. Call an attorney, especially if you believe the accident was someone else’s fault. An attorney can help you determine your best options for seeking compensation for injuries, property damage and other losses.
If you do these six things after a car accident, you should feel much better about your ability to put the incident in the past. As you recover, continue to follow the advice of your medical team, even if you’re only dealing with a minor injury. You don’t want to do anything that could make your situation worse in the weeks and months to come.