You have just been involved in a car accident. You look around confused and in shock at what just happened. You thought your day could not get any worse before this happened. In all of your years on the road, you had never been in a fender bender…until now. The events of what has just occurred start to settle in. Your first instinct might be to panic, but you have to have a plan and remain calm and collected.
Even if you have gathered yourself and you feel fine, it would be in your best interest to contact emergency services so that police and an ambulance can come to the scene. Some injuries take time to recognize. Plus, the other person in the car might be injured and it is best to make sure all parties are alright. If you decide to get out of the car, take time to observe your surroundings to see if it is safe to stay in the area or if you will have to move away from oncoming traffic.
Once you are outside of the car turn on your hazard blinkers to let other drivers know that you are pulled over and look at your vehicle and check for any damage sustained to it. From front to bumper, see if there are any bumps, scratches, cracks, and dents, and make note of what you catch through photos and videos taken on your mobile device. Once the authorities come, you can either get checked out by the EMTs if you feel the need to or go directly to the police to report the accident.
When you make contact with the police officer, insist that you want a written account of what happened from your point of view. The other driver will most definitely do the same and make an account of what happened from their perspective. Also, take some notes or record the interactions as it is happening with your phone. Make sure to ask the office their “name, badge number, phone number, and the police report number,” (WalletHub).
Also, get the contact info of the other person that was in the other car involved in the accident. This is to gather insurance information from the other party. Only give them your insurance card to contact them. If the other party wants to know more in-depth information, just refer to the police officer about what you need to give out according to state mandates.
After leaving the scene and recovering from what has just happened, contact your insurance company to file your claim. If you find out that you have been physically injured or that the other party involved claims that they were hurt, it would be a great time to get in touch with a lawyer. Contacting a lawyer does not mean that you have done anything wrong, but it is a means to protect and defend yourself if the other party decided to file a lawsuit against you and claim that you were the cause of the accident.