There’s nothing worse than being involved in a car accident. Even if nobody’s injured, it’s still absolutely terrifying. Nevertheless, it’s still something you should be prepared for. So, you’ve had a little bump. What do you do next?
The most important thing for you to do is to stay at the scene, and contact the police immediately. Even if nobody’s injured, and the other driver is happy to carry on: don’t. In a lot of countries, it’s illegal to leave the scene of a car accident. That allows for both drivers to be breathalysed, which is crucial for establishing who was in the right further down the line, as well as letting you avoid prosecution for leaving the scene of an accident.
As soon as you have swapped details with another driver, you should notify your insurance company. This is to make sure that any damages can be paid for. The most important thing here is to be completely honest with them, as if you’re found to have lied, they could refuse to cover the costs.
You should note down the exact details of the incident: date, time, location, the other driver’s details, and the damage caused. It will make your life easier to take pictures of the damage, as that is irrefutable proof, should anything be queried. Furthermore, it will be much easier to show the pictures to your insurance company than to try and describe the damage.
You should also speak to any and all witnesses of the event. If it’s your word against the other driver’s, then there is very little that you can do. However, if you have the testament of other people who saw it, that will improve the likelihood of a fair outcome. It’s also a good idea to get the witnesses’ contact numbers, as you, the police, or the insurance company, may need to speak to them in the future.
Get yourself checked over by a doctor, even if you feel fine. Whilst it is very important to make sure that you aren’t concussed, and have not broken any bones, it will also be useful if you decide to bring in a car accident lawyer to extract compensation from the other driver. It will make you look more sympathetic. In a similar vein, write down any injuries or time spent off work as a result of the accident, as well as activities you can no longer participate in and any medical treatment you have undergone. If you have medical insurance, note down the cost of the treatment.
Finally, the best thing to do after an accident is to remain calm. It might be nerve-wracking, it might be scary, and tempers could run high. However, if you do remain calm and collected, it will make it much easier to do everything that you need to do. Furthermore, if you become aggressive with the other driver, it will reflect very badly on you. Just remember: accidents happen all the time, and panicking won’t help.