Just because you got involved in a minor car accident doesn’t mean you can drive away as if nothing had happened. In fact, leaving the scene of an accident without talking to the authorities is illegal.
Even if you feel fine and your passengers don’t seem to be injured, your deal is not over yet. There are still different things you should do before you can leave the scene of the accident.
You should always start by taking a deep breath and trying your best to stay calm. Panicking or getting angry at the other driver will only make things worse. Then, you need to follow these helpful tips to handle your car accident.
Move your car away from the middle of the road
If the accident was a minor one, you should still be able to drive your car. You need to move it away from the middle of the road as quickly as possible. You do this to avoid being the cause of another accident.
Pull over to the right or use an emergency lane if there is one. You should then turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that something is wrong. They will know to be careful.
Make sure everyone involved in the accident is alright
When your car and the other driver involved in the accident are in a safe place, it’s time to make sure everyone is alright. If someone is hurt, you should call an ambulance immediately.
Keep in mind that even if no blood is visible, someone could still be injured. A headache, for example, could be a sign of a concussion. It’s also important to note that some symptoms could appear a few days after the accident.
Call the police so they can file an accident report
Even if the accident was small, you should still report it to the police. The police report will help insurance companies determine who was at fault, and it will also be helpful if one or both of the drivers involved decide to contact a personal injury lawyer.
When the police arrive, give them details about what happened so they can file their accident report. Ask them if there is a reference number for their report, and if so, be sure to write it down.
Don’t admit you were at fault even if you think you were
Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, you should not admit it to the other driver or a police officer. It’s not up to you to determine who was at fault, and if you claim that you were, this statement will be included in the police report and could be used against you.
Be sure to exchange information with the other driver
Before you leave, you need to exchange some information with the other driver involved.
Ask them for their full name, their contact information, and their insurance company and policy number. You should also write down their driver’s licence number, license plate number, and the make, model, and colour of their car. Of course, you should provide this information to them as well.
Note some information if they drive off without talking to you
If the other driver decided to drive off without even talking to you, try to note their licence plate number. Also, document the make, model and colour of their car. If you can, take a picture of their car as they leave. When the police arrives, be sure to give this information to them to help them file their accident report.
Take a lot of pictures and document the scene
Even if the police are going to document the accident scene, you should do it as well. Take pictures of any damage caused to your car and the other driver’s car. You should also take pictures of the scene and anything that might have been damaged in the accident. These photos will help your insurance company understand the situation.
If someone walking or driving by witnessed the accident, you should ask them for their contact information. Do this in case you ever need them to provide a statement. These steps are important for evidence and if you want to file a claim after the accident.
Call your insurance company to let them know about the accident
You will then need to contact your insurance company to let them know you were involved in a minor car accident. Tell them what happened, and be ready to provide them with any evidence they ask from you. Notifying your insurance company is important, especially if your car is now in need of some repairs.
Consider seeing a doctor even if you feel fine
When you safely get back home after getting everything in order, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor, even if you feel fine. Injuries such as broken ribs, whiplash, and back injuries might not cause you pain right away.
Your doctor will examine you to determine if you are suffering from a hidden injury. If you need to see a lawyer to file a personal injury claim, you will need a medical report detailing any injury and treatment that resulted from the accident.