Being involved in an auto accident can shake you to your core. Whether you’re injured or not, being in a car accident is scary, traumatizing, and sometimes life-changing.
Though there’s no way to completely take away the shock or erase the event entirely, there are things you can do to help mitigate the physical, mental, emotional, and financial damages. We want to help guide you in the event that you’re involved in a car accident.
Keep reading for the seven steps you need to take.
1. Calm Down and Ensure Everyone’s Safety
Before you can be of any use to yourself or others, you need to regain your composure. As noted above, being in a car accident is incredibly traumatizing, even if you escape without injury. Assuming you’re not in an inherently dangerous position, take a few moments to collect yourself.
We recommend a deep breathing exercise to help you instantly calm down. You obviously won’t be completely relaxed, given your circumstances, but you should be able to act with a clear head.
Now, you need to make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. If the cars are sitting idle in the middle of a high-speed or busy road, you need to get the cars moved out of harm’s way. If that’s not possible, all of the vehicle occupants need to abandon the cars and get to safety.
When the risk of danger is absolved, you need to assess everyone’s condition. Find out if anyone needs urgent medical assistance.
2. Call 911
Your next auto accident steps include calling the authorities. Call 911 to report the accident. They’ll ask if there are any injuries.
Remain calm and control your breathing so you can clearly report the important details of the accident, leading with any injuries that require immediate care. The 911 operator will keep you on the line to get other important facts, such as:
- Your location
- Other injuries
- The number of vehicles involved
- And more
Try to be as exact and unbiased as possible and not get emotional or angry. Now is not the time to try to prove the other driver’s guilt, prove you weren’t at fault, or apologize if you were at fault. Stick to the facts.
3. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Once you’re off the phone with 911, you need to exchange information with the other driver. Again, it’s imperative to keep your cool and not react emotionally.
Even if the other driver was clearly at fault, don’t approach them angrily. It will only put them on edge and make them more difficult to work with. Focus on the task at hand, which is collecting the appropriate information.
This includes the driver’s:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Insurance provider and policy number
Do not try to discuss the details of the accident with the other driver. This can lead to arguments and escalations. One of the most important auto accident tips is avoiding making any statements that could convey fault, such as “I’m sorry,” “I don’t know what happened,” “I didn’t see you,” etc.
4. Start Collecting Evidence
Once you’ve exchanged the necessary information with the other driver, it’s time to start collecting evidence of the auto accident. This evidence will be vital for the police report, your insurance company, your personal records, and your attorney (if you need one).
Start by jotting down what you remember of the accident. How did it happen? What did you hear and see before the crash?
Then, start taking pictures with your phone of the scene of the accident. This includes the interior and exterior of both vehicles as well as any damages to the surrounding environment. Take pictures of tire marks, scuffed gravel, torn turf, damaged signs, etc.
Finally, get witness statements from your own passengers and any witness of the accident. Make sure you get their names and contact information, as well.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once the dust has settled, contact your insurance company and let them know you’ve been involved in an auto accident. If the other driver was at fault, his or her insurance company should contact you within a few days. If you don’t hear from them, use the information given to you to reach out to their insurance company, they may not have reported it.
When talking to other insurance companies, don’t give a recorded statement, especially if you plan on hiring an auto accident attorney.
6. Seek Medical Attention
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may or may not need immediate medical assistance. If you were severely injured and taken directly to the hospital, there’s not much else you can do.
However, even if you only had minor bumps and bruises or no discernable injuries, you should still schedule a doctor’s appointment. There are several types of injuries that have delayed reactions resulting from a car accident.
Getting a professional medical opinion as soon as possible may be imperative in the event that you need to file a health insurance claim or seek benefits from the other driver’s insurance. Furthermore, if you’re building a legal case, a medical history will be vital for your success.
7. Contact an Attorney
This brings us to the last of our auto accident steps, contacting an attorney. In the event that the other motorist was uninsured or their insurance refused to grant you financial benefits, you’ll need to hire an auto accident lawyer. They can help you gather evidence, prove damages, present your case, and get the compensation you deserve.
However, in some cases, you may need to look into settlement funding. Lawsuits can take months to complete, during which time you may be struggling financially. Applying for settlement funding may be your best hope of staying above water among medical bills, car repairs, and more.
Do You Need Help Getting Funding After an Auto Accident?
Moving forward with your life after an auto accident can be difficult, especially if you’re suffering from long term physical, mental, or financial effects. Our company can help lighten the load by providing you with the money you need now, rather than waiting months on end for the settlement to go through.
Contact us today or apply now for the funds you need to help you get through this difficult time.