Getting into a car accident is quite a scary experience. From fender benders to more serious accidents, accidents occur across the US every day, injuring drivers and passengers, and damaging vehicles. If you find yourself in an accident, here's what you should do.
Don't panic. If you're not seriously injured, the first thing to do is to move to a safe place- the side of the road, and then call 911. Reporting the accident is the first step to receiving assistance. Even if no one in either party is hurt, the police should still be called to access the situation, and so they can file an official report. Don't let the other party talk you into simply exchanging information, and then driving away from the accident.
Check with the other party. Make sure they're okay, and if need be, call for medical assistance. If everyone is okay, exchange information right away. Do not sign any documents. Pay attention to the situation, and document the details of the accident, so you can give authorities and insurance companies a clear report of what happened.
Take photos. If you have a camera or smartphone, take photos of the damage to your vehicle, and to property, if there was damage done to property. This will be helpful to your insurance company.
Call your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company right away. They will most likely send an agent out to assess the damage, and they will be able to guide you as to what the next steps will be in getting your vehicle repaired.
Make sure you have a reliable backup car, or will be given a loaner. We rely on our vehicles for our day to day travels, so make sure that you have a friend or spouse who can get you to where you need to be, or that you will be able to be put in a loaner car while your vehicle is being repaired.
If you feel like you need an attorney, call an attorney you trust, or ask a reliable person for a referral. Once an accident has been reported, chances are you will receive tons of offers for legal services via calls or mail. It's best to stick with someone you know and trust in these types of situations. If you don't feel that you need legal advice, don't worry about it.
Following these steps will help you stay on track after an accident, and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
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