Auto accidents are loud, chaotic and scary. They can leave you with major injuries and major medical bills.
While you can never really prepare for an accident, knowing how to respond to one may help you in the long run.
1. Seek medical attention
Immediately after a collision, assess any injuries that you or your passengers may have. If you are physically able to, check on the occupants of the other vehicle too. Call an ambulance for anyone who needs immediate attention. If you do not feel you need immediate help, pay careful attention to any pains or problems you have in the following days and follow up with a doctor. Shock may prevent an injury from being obvious at first.
2. Report the accident
Call the police to file a report. Even if you do not suspect injuries or the vehicle damage is minimal, reporting is necessary. A police report will include information about the location of the accident, photographs of the vehicles, statements from each driver and witness statements. All of this information is helpful for insurance claims and any possible lawsuits.
3. Exchange information
Once you have assessed injuries and notified the police, it is important to exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver. Make a note of the make, model and license plate of the other vehicle as well. All of this information should be on a police report, but having a copy for yourself will allow you to file a claim with insurance as soon as possible.
The most important thing to do after an auto accident is to stay calm. Keep a clear head and control your temper, no matter your annoyance or rage at the other driver. A calmer mind will help you to remember details more clearly, assess injuries more accurately and react to the stressful situation more appropriately.