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What To Do Right After A Car Accident

 


·  STAY CALM

If you are calm, it can have a calming effect on others in the accident. Being calm is the best way to accomplish the necessary evaluation of what needs to be done next.

·  MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE OKAY

If you generally feel okay, but have a bit of dizziness, for example, you should seek medical help -- never assume that an injury is minor after having been involved in an accident. Also be aware that the adrenalin you experience during an accident can hide symptoms which may not show up until after you have had a chance to unwind.

·  DETERMINE IF ANYONE IS INJURED

If anyone involved in the accident has any doubts about the condition of their health, then call 911 and request medical help.

·  OFFER FIRST AID

If you are qualified, offer first aid to anyone who needs it. Do not move anyone who is injured unless there is a danger of fire in which they could be harmed.

·  EVALUATE THE SITUATION

  • Does the placement of your cars put you or the people in the other car also involved in the accident, at risk? Make sure that your accident will not cause another accident. In this case you may just want to turn on your flashers, stay in your car, keep your seat belt on and call 911 on your cell phone.
  • Are your cars blocking traffic? Should your cars be moved to allow traffic to flow? Bear in mind, that once your cars are moved, the police will have a much harder time deciding the facts of the accident. Yet some states require that cars be moved as quickly as possible to avoid their blocking traffic. If you must move your car, take photographs before the tow truck arrives (see #1 and #2 for aditional info on our gathering the proper information after a car accident page).

    NOTE: Some states require that you not move your car until the police arrive.
  • If your cars are blocking traffic, you should turn on your car's flashers and if you have them, light flares or put up warning cones around the accident area.
  • Determine exactly where you are: what street are you on, what landmark are you near and what cross street is close to you.

·  DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE ACCIDENT WITH OTHERS AT THE SCENE

Things you say right after an accident may not be carefully thought out and can be used against you later. Wait for the police to tell your story.

·  CALL 911

Once you have made an evaluation, call 911.

  • Tell the 911 dispatcher exactly where you are
  • First priority is to get medical attention to anyone who is injured; tell the dispatcher how many people are injured so that the medical personnel will know what to expect
  • Second: inform the dispatcher of traffic hazards or fire if these exist
  • The third priority is to determine if the police need to be called to the scene of the accident
  • Fourth priority is to determine if a tow truck should be called to move one or both vehicles
  • Fifth priority is to stay on the line until the 911 dispatcher tells you that the call is completed

·  IF BOTH CARS CAN BE SAFELY DRIVEN AWAY (IN A FENDER BENDER) AND THE ACCIDENT IS MINOR, YOU MAY BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE SCENE

In this case file a report with the police immediately and/or with the DMV as required by your state. In this case you should gather all the information listed in the next page before leaving the scene.

FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM

And even if you have bought discount auto insurance, you will need to follow this set procedure. You should file a report immediately with your affordable car insurance and expect the same service as from a higher priced policy.

  • Go back to: comprehensive automobile accident guide main page
  • Gathering the proper information after a car accident
  • Getting the police report after an automobile accident

 

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