If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you already know the horror. The screeching of tyres and the deafening, metal-on-metal clash. The sounds are etched into your memory, but the rest of the collision is a blur. For many drivers, it’s their worst nightmare. Unfortunately, most of us are likely to experience a car crash at least once in our lives. And when this incident occurs, you need to know how to respond. In the interests of safety, insurance, and potential compensation, here’s what you need to do.
Make sure everyone is okay
The first, and most important, job is ensuring that everyone is okay. Check yourself for signs of bleeding or major impacts. Remember, your body is pumping full of adrenaline, so you may not feel the initial damage. Check all the passengers in your vehicle, and make sure there are no injured pedestrians. If you’re proficient in first-aid, take quick action. If there are serious injuries, your first call is to the emergency services to make sure an ambulance arrives quickly.
Get the car off the road
In serious accidents, this won’t always be possible. The vehicles may be compromised, and it could prove dangerous to restart the engine. However, if it’s a minor bump, you can quickly move the car to the side of the road. You may need a hand pushing the car out of harm’s way. If there are any large pieces of debris, move them off the road, and out of the flow of traffic. Of course, if the incident is a major one, you’ll have to wait for the authorities.
Call the police
No matter how small the collision or accident, you must call the police. In fact, failing to report an accident is a crime. Even if it’s nothing more than a small bump, the police need to write a statement. It’s vital for your insurance and any compensation claims. In a serious accident situation, the police officers will have the resources to shut off the roads. They’ll also provide assistance, and inform the relevant medical facilities.
Start taking down details
It’s probably the last thing on your mind right now, but you will ultimately want to make an insurance or compensation claim. That means you need evidence. Start writing down everything you can about the accident scene. We asked the experts at Zaner Harden Law about the necessary information. They recommend recording every detail, no matter how trivial. Start with the time of day, the weather, and the names of everyone involved. Draw a sketch of the incident, and take photos of the damage.
Finally, you are required to exchange details and documents with any other parties involved. These documents include your registration and insurance details. It also includes your full name and address. The police will also require this information. If you don’t have it hand, you’ll have to deliver it to the police station in a reasonable time-frame.
We hope you don’t need to use this advice, but if you find yourself in an accident, now you know what to do.