Car accidents are dangerous and intense situations. If you’re hurt, it will affect your quality of life and ability to work. If you’re not injured, it could still be anywhere from days to months before you get over the shock. Not to mention that you have a damaged or destroyed car to deal with. Even if you have the best car insurance, the process of repairing or replacing your vehicle is stressful.
Car wrecks are life-altering and angst-filled moments. It’s easy to feel panicked and lose focus, but here’s a list of things do after an accident to keep you on track.
Make sure you’re prepared.
Driving is relatively safe, but when something does go wrong, it can go terribly wrong. That’s why in Australia, it’s a requirement that you have car insurance. If you don’t have insurance already, then go online and compare car insurance with iSelect. You have to have coverage, so you may as well get the coverage you need for the best price possible.
Check with everyone involved.
After a car wreck, the most pressing issue is safety. If you have passengers, then you need to check on their condition after you’ve made sure you’re okay. If there are injuries, determine their extent, and then call for emergency assistance and remain as still and calm as you can until help arrives.
If you move or panic too much then you’ll only make your injuries worse. You’ll cause yourself to go into shock or dangerously raise your blood pressure. Also, you should never attempt to move an injured person. You don’t know what their injury is or the severity of it. As long as the car isn’t smoking or on fire, stay still.
If everyone in your car is OK, then go and check on the people in the other vehicle. When you do address the people in the other car, remember that your safety and theirs is all that matters at that moment. Don’t let the emotion of the moment cause you to make the situation worse. If you turn the wreck into a confrontation, then you’ll only be heaping another helping of worries on your plate.
If you’re too upset—which you may have every right to be—then don’t address the people in the other car until the authorities arrive. Even if there are no injuries or car damage, you still need to call the authorities. It’s important that you have a record of the accident in case something changes.
Call your insurance company.
After an auto accident, it’s wise to trade car insurance with the other party. Even if all people and cars involved seem perfectly fine, you shouldn’t leave the scene without the other person’s information.
It’s possible to be injured at the scene of an accident and not know it for days. That’s why it’s crucial to get the other person’s insurance info as well as call your own insurer. You should also still see a doctor. Not feeling any pain doesn’t mean you haven’t damaged anything.
Take several pictures of the wreck and upload them to a cloud photo manager, like ibi. If your photos are thorough enough, then the insurance adjuster may be able to make their assessment before you even leave the scene of the accident. Photos are also good to have for your own records when negotiating your settlement.
The best response to an auto accident is never to have one. Unfortunately, the odds say that if you spend enough time behind the wheel, you’ll eventually have an accident. All you can do is play it safe and hope that if you do have an accident, it’s a minor one. Regardless of the magnitude of the wreck, remember, call the authorities, call your insurer, and see a doctor. Better yet, just be careful out there.
Cassandra Winter is a professional writer and editor. After a career in PR for an arts charity, she now focuses on writing about her favourite topics from public art to restoration and events. When not working she loves swimming, hiking and quiet nights in with her family.