You’re safely and carefully driving home from work and BOOM! You are in a car wreck. Through no fault of your own. What should you do? Here are six things you should always do if you are in a car accident:
- CALL 911
If anyone is or may be injured, this will get law enforcement and EMS to the scene of the wreck. This will secure prompt medical attention and also insure that a Police Accident Report is prepared. Even if no one is injured, you still want the police to come to the scene to prepare an Accident Report.steps for handling a car accident has some nice tips on this.
- STAY CALM & BE SAFE
Keep a cool head. Do not be confrontational with the driver of the at fault vehicle. Watch out for other vehicles driving through or around the scene of your car wreck. If the car wreck is very minor, it is OK to move your vehicle to the side of the road. Otherwise, it is best to not move the vehicle until the police arrive.
- DOCUMENT THE WRECK
If you can safely do this, take some photos of the vehicles where they have come to rest. Take a photo of the license plate of the at fault vehicle. Be sure and get the name and telephone number and insurance information of the at fault driver from the investigating police officer.
- GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
If necessary, of course. But frequently immediately following a car wreck, our adrenaline is really pumping. This is either as a result of excitement, fear, anger or all of the above. You don’t realize you are hurt until you calm down a bit. People have gone home following a wreck, laid down for a few minutes, and died. Usually the consequences are not that drastic. The point is: Take care of your body first and foremost.
- GIVE THE HOSPITAL YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE INFORMATION
Even though the other driver is at fault, their automobile insurance will not pay your medical bills one by one as they are incurred. Their payment to you will be in one lump sum after the case is ready to be settled. Let your medical insurance pay the bills. They will be entitled to reimbursement from the auto insurance company for the at fault driver when the claim is settled. This will get these bills paid promptly. Otherwise, the bills could go unpaid for several months and adversely impact your credit.
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
After you have left the scene and received necessary medical attention, contact your automobile insurance company and tell them about the car wreck. You should do this, even though you were not at fault. This is very important.