In 2020, almost 39,000 people died in car accidents, which was a 22% increase from 2019. However, actual injuries and accident rates declined.
Motor vehicle accidents are overwhelming and confusing times. You may feel unsure about what to do after an accident. Therefore, these are steps you should follow.
Take a minute
Take a deep breath and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Wait until your pulse calms and your thinking clears before you do anything else. Contact the authorities. Call 911 for anyone who received injuries, or contact the police if no injuries occurred.
Then, turn on your hazard lights. If you can, move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of traffic. If you cannot, try to get yourself and your passengers to safety at the side of the road. Adopt patience as you wait for the police, ambulance and other emergency staff.
Avoid unnecessary conversation
Prepare your license, registration and insurance documents. Ask for other drivers’ information. Do not engage in conversation. You could say something that inadvertently casts blame on you, which is something you should avoid. Do not lie to the police, but do not admit to anything.
Write down all the vehicles’ license plates, make and model and colors. Take photos of your vehicle and the accident scene as a whole. Photograph any witnesses and ask for their contact information. Take photos of anything that you think is relevant, including the intersection or road debris.
Write down any observations you made, such as inclement weather, traffic patterns or driver’s actions. You can even videotape odd reactions and behaviors on your phone. Collect the police report from the incident.
To get the best results from your accident claim, take steps to prepare for the incident.