Home » Don’t Panic! Your Step-By-Step Guide Of What To Do If You Have A Car Accident

Don’t Panic! Your Step-By-Step Guide Of What To Do If You Have A Car Accident

We don’t need to emphasise the point that car accidents are traumatic. They can leave you shaken and unsure about what you should do next. And the last thing you want to do in the heat of the moment is panic. That’s why we’ve compiled this step-by-step guide to navigate the aftermath. 

From assessing your situation to exchanging details with another driver, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. So, take a deep breath, and let’s dive right in. 

Step One: Safety First

It goes without saying that safety should be the top priority in any accident. So first things first, check if anyone is injured. If there are injuries, call the emergency services. Even if they seem minor, you need to get a once over. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

The same goes for broken glass or leaking fuel hazards. Don’t put yourself in danger. Let the professionals handle it and keep a safe distance. 

Step Two: Keep Calm And Assess

Now that injuries are being taken care of, step back. Keep your cool and assess the situation. If you’re feeling the panic rise, take a couple of deep breaths and try to clear your mind. It might feel impossible, but you want a level head for the next steps. 

If there are no injuries, and your car’s still drivable, move it to a safe place. That could be the side of the road or a parking lot, depending on where the collision happened. Turn on your hazards so passing drivers get a clear warning that there’s been an accident and to keep clear. 

Once your car’s moved, you can assess the damage. Minor knocks and scrapes generally mean you can swap details with the other driver and move on with your life. Anything more severe, and you might need police assistance. 

Only leave the scene after you’ve exchanged details or have talked to the police. 

Step Three: Exchange Details

So everyone’s safe and you know where your car stands, it’s time to exchange details. This step is essential, especially when it comes to claiming with your insurance company. 

Make sure you get the following information from the other driver:

  • Their name and current contact information. 
  • All insurance details, like the company and policy number. 
  • The make and model of the vehicle, as well as its registration. 
  • An accurate location of the accident. 

If you’re worried, photograph the driver’s license and insurance documents. 

Step Four: Gather Evidence

Evidence can make or break an insurance claim. So having more than you need is a good idea. If in doubt, take a picture. The most important things you need to focus on, though, are:

  • Photos of the accident site.
  • Damage to both cars.
  • Any relevant road signs or markings.

If there are any witnesses, get their contact info for a later date.

You can add more evidence once you’re back home and the initial shock has died down. It’ll be helpful for your claim to note everything that happened in the lead-up to the accident. Include the time, date, and any weather conditions that might’ve had an impact. 

All this evidence helps your insurer decide who’s at fault and how much compensation you’re entitled to. 

Step Five: Get Seen

If you’re lucky, you’ll feel fine after your accident. But no matter what, it’s always a good idea to get seen by a doctor. Injuries like whiplash might not show up until hours or even days after the crash. A quick visit to your GP helps identify, treat, and recover from an injury or hidden conditions. 

All treatment you have because of the accident needs to be recorded. It’ll be helpful when you’re making a claim with your insurance. 

Step Six: Notify Your Insurer

Take all your collected evidence and driver details you can approach your insurance company. When you’re notifying them, you’ll need the following information handy:

  • Your policy number.
  • The details of your accident, as much as you can remember. 
  • Contact details and information from the other driver involved. 
  • Whether there were witnesses and their data. 
  • All of your gathered photographic evidence. 

Once they’ve got all this info, they’ll guide you through the next steps and let you know your next steps. 

Step Seven: The Aftermath

It’s underestimated how stressful dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be. Often the days afterward are more challenging than the collision itself. 

First, look after yourself. You’re the priority here. So if you’re finding it tough or are dealing with PTSD and trauma, don’t hesitate to get additional support. There are plenty of resources available; you’re not alone. 

After that, get all your repairs done by a reputable garage. Insurance companies often have a list of approved businesses, so give them a call if you’re unsure. Make sure to keep all your receipts and invoices for your insurance claim. 

Bonus Step: Legal Advice

There are some cases that’ll need another pair of eyes looking over them. Especially if the other driver refuses to provide details. Or there’s a dispute over who’s at fault. In these instances, get legal advice about where you stand and injury claims sooner rather than later. 

For individuals seeking legal assistance after a car accident lawyer in the Bronx, experienced car accident lawyers in the area offer invaluable support and guidance, helping clients navigate the complexities of insurance claims, negotiations, and litigation to secure fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

If you’re unsure whether you need legal advice, call for a consultation. Lots of law firms will allow you to speak with a car accident lawyer for free, and it can’t hurt to get additional guidance.

Final Thoughts

Car accidents are traumatic. And the aftermath can last for days, even months after the fact. Following these steps ensures you handle the collision as safely as possible. So stay calm, put yourself first, and remember, there’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to making claims.