You’ve been a cautious driver (except for that one speeding ticket from your 20’s) and, luckily, you haven’t been in an accident… until now. In just a matter of seconds, your airbag has deployed and you’re completely confused. What should you do?
1- First, remain calm. A car accident can be a terrifying experience. Shock and adrenaline can cause anyone to panic. Take deep breaths and focus on staying calm.
2- Check to see if you or your passengers have sustained any injuries. If anyone in your vehicle needs medical attention, immediately call 911. If you’re unable to call 911, ask someone else to do so. If you are seriously injured, try your best not to move until the emergency response team arrives. The same is true for any of your passengers.
3- Turn on your hazard lights if you are able to do so.
4- If the accident was a minor one and your vehicle is creating a hazard where the collision placed it, move the vehicle out of the flow of traffic only if it is safe to do so. If you’re able, get to the safest place possible – perhaps on the side of the road or on a nearby sidewalk.
5- Call the police, even if the collision was not severe. When you’ve been in a minor accident, it can be really tempting to simply swap information with the other parties and avoid being late for work or school. However, a police report is an important piece to any insurance claim that you file. Be sure to call and wait for the police, no matter what is on your schedule.
6- As soon as you are able and it is safe to do so, document everything that you can remember about the accident, including where the crash occurred and everything that you can remember about how it happened.
7- Once the police arrive, be sure to tell the officer what happened, as best as you can. If you are unsure of any fact, let the officer know exactly that. Never guess or speculate. With endorphins running high within your body, you may not know whether you are injured or not right away. If you’re unsure, then be sure to say that you’re unsure, rather than “no.”
8- Take pictures of all involved vehicles, including license plates. If you or your passengers have injuries that are apparent, take photos. Also take photos of insurance cards for each driver involved.
9- When the police arrive, the officer(s) should collect information for each person involved in the accident. It’s a good idea, however, to document name, address, and telephone number of each person involved in the accident. Document the same information for anyone who witnessed the accident, as well as the number of the police report. Additionally, document names of the responding officer(s).
10- Notify your insurance company of the accident; however, do not give a statement to the insurance company immediately after the accident. You may not have adequate information at this point, including information regarding any injuries sustained.
We’ve discussed recommendations for what to do post-accident here. These steps are also critical, so be sure not to miss them!
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Baskerville Law is an auto accident law firm located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our car accident attorney is focused on diligently representing victims of auto collisions. Clients of Baskerville Law can expect personable, reliable and aggressive representation. We want you to focus on what is most important – your recovery. Call (505) 247-2774 to speak with our car accident attorney today, free of charge and no strings attached.
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