One sure way to ruin any day is getting into a car accident. If you’re lucky it’s just a minor accident with a few scratches on your fender, but in some cases, you could be dealing with much more serious damage or even injuries. No matter the severity, going through a car accident can shake you up and make it hard to know what to do next. Below we’ll outline 7 steps you can follow to successfully get yourself through a car accident.
Make Safety a Priority
The first thing you’ll want to think about is safety. Immediately after getting into an accident you’ll want to make sure you and everyone else in your car are okay. After that, you should look to move your car to a safer location on the road if you can. You don’t want to do the following steps in the middle of a busy road, so pull off to the side as long as the car is able to and no one needs immediate medical attention. If the accident involved another vehicle, they will likely move their car to a safer location as well.
Call for Help
Next, you should call for any assistance you might need. You should do this as early as possible because it will take some time for help to arrive. Some people you might need to call are an ambulance, the police so they can file an accident report, a tow truck if you can’t drive your car, or a friend/family member so that they can assist you or give you a ride home.
After you have made any phone calls you need to make, you should then start gathering information from the other drivers involved. Try to remain calm during this time, as you may find the other drivers angry or upset. You will need to swap information with them, including your name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. Grab a pen and paper or store all of the information on your phone. It’s essential that you get this information as you may need it when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance agency.
Take Pictures of the Accident
Another good thing to do is to take pictures of the accident. Take out your cell phone and snap some pictures of any damage your car received, damage to other vehicles, and the surrounding area. If you sustained any minor injuries you may want to take a picture of those as well. Pictures come in handy if there is any sort of legal dispute about the accident, so it’s a good idea to have evidence you can rely on.
Work with a Good Lawyer
In some cases, you will need the assistance of a good lawyer. This typically happens if you need to sue for damages caused by the other driver’s negligence, whether they do or don’t have insurance. Either way, a good lawyer who specializes in auto accidents will help guide you through the entire process. According to The Barnes Firm, a group of Los Angeles car accident lawyers, “there are certain types of accidents that almost always require the help of a law firm that will ensure all losses are covered.” So, if need be, take your time in picking out a good lawyer to help get you through the rest of the process.
Repair Your Car
If your car received any damage during the accident you will need to get it repaired. Hopefully, your insurance will cover most of these costs, but you may end up having to pay some of it yourself. Find an auto repair shop near you that provides reliable service. Get an estimate for the price of repairs and see what your insurance company will cover. If you’re lucky the car will be as good as new in a week, but in some severe cases, the car could be beyond saving, at which point you will need to shop for a new one.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, once you’re done with everything else, you should reflect back onto the accident. Was there anything you did that lead to the accident? By learning from your mistakes, you can become a safer driver going forward. While this may not prevent all future accidents, it can at least make them less likely. Hopefully, this guide was able to provide you with some clear steps to follow should you find yourself in a car accident. Getting into an accident is an unpleasant experience, but if you know what to do, it becomes a lot less stressful.