Post Car Accident Action Guide and Protocol
There are more than 6 million car accidents in the USA every year. More than 40,000 people die in those accidents. If you are a licensed driver, you should know what to do in the aftermath of a collision. Proper reaction can lower the costs linked with the accident, prevent additional injuries and even speed up the repair process.
That’s why you should stay calm and follow this action plan and protocol whenever a car accident happens:
- Prevent further damage – If you are part of a small traffic accident, both you and the other driver should move the cars off the road. In this way, the traffic will continue functioning normally and there won’t be a risk of additional accidents. In cases where cars cannot be moved, both drivers and passengers should stay in the vehicle wearing their seatbelts until the police and/or towing service arrives. If you find yourself in a situation like this, remember to turn on hazard lights and try to secure the area with warning triangles, flares (especially during night time) and cones.
- Be prepared – We have mentioned some of the emergency equipment you should have like cones, warning triangles and/or cones that are usually kept in the trunk of the car. In addition, driving with a cell phone, pen and paper, camera and a tag which carries information about your health issues is always helpful. You should also memorize, or carry with you, the numbers of some towing services, auto repair shops and law enforcement agencies just in case. This emergency equipment can be found in many stores in the form of emergency kit for a very low price.
- Swap information – After the accident it is very important to stay calm, no matter which driver caused it. What you need to do is ask if anyone is hurt and proceed with swapping basic info – name, phone number, address, insurance company, number of policy, driver’s license number and the number of the license plate. Make sure that the driver’s name matches the name on the insurance. If they are different, ask for additional information. After that, you should write a report about the accident – how it happened, where it took place and describe the cars involved in the accident.
- Take photos and take info from the witnesses – Cameras can be very useful in situations like this, so make sure you take several photos from different angles. In cases where there are witnesses, take their basic info and their phone numbers. Witnesses can later testify if there are any disagreements between you and the other driver about how the accident happened.
- File a car accident report – These reports can be found at every police station. Having a report like this will help you accelerate your claims process.
- Contact your insurance agent – The insurance agent should be notified after you return home or even the next day. The insurance agent will explain the situation to you regarding possible claims, what does the insurance cover, etc.
- Hiring a personal injury lawyer – Hiring a lawyer can be especially useful in cases of significant injuries or in cases where both sides claim that there was absolutely no fault on their side.