A car accident can be stressful. You may be in mild shock and there may be many things going on.
However, you have to keep your cool and remember that there are certain things you need to take care of.
The scene of an accident is unique, and the period immediately following the accident may be the only opportunity you can have to take certain actions. Here's a look at five things you should remember to do following a car accident:
- Exchange information. It is critical that you exchange information with the other driver. This can include getting their names, phone numbers, addresses, driver's license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information. If there are passengers in any of the vehicles, you should obtain their names, telephone numbers, and addresses as well. If you don't get their information, you may have no way to recover damages for the accident.
- Talk to witnesses. Just as you get the contact information for the other driver, you should collect witnesses' contact information as well. Witnesses can include residents, businesspeople, and anyone else who saw what happened. Witnesses can be critical in determining fault and negligence in the accident. If you don't reach out to witnesses immediately following an accident, you may have no opportunity to find them again.
- Take pictures. Before your car is towed away, you may want to take pictures of the damage to your vehicle as well as the accident scene. You may want to document things like skid marks, lane markers, and the other vehicle(s) involved.
- Call your insurance company. You don't have to do this at the accident scene, but you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Tell the insurance company that you were involved in an accident and be honest about what happened.
- Don't be overly apologetic. Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, you may not want to blurt out "I'm sorry." Accidents are rarely ever cut-and-dry events where someone can point to the careless actions of one driver for causing the crash. And if you apologize too quickly, you may be admitting to an accident that was not entirely your fault.
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