Being in a car accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience. However, you need to make sure that you take the appropriate measures after an accident. First, stop and take stock of yourself and the situation. Second, if you can move, exchange all your information with the other driver. Third, give detailed information to the police. Finally, document all the damage from the incident.
You have just been in a car accident, but fortunately it wasn’t serious enough to do you major harm. You should now take inventory of yourself, the car, and your surroundings. Check yourself thoroughly to make sure that there are no serious injuries or major bleeding. If your check is satisfactory, try to get an impression of the damage to your vehicle. Ask yourself if you were at fault in the accident. If so, take responsibility and make sure that you check on the other driver(s).
If you can step out of your car, then go and check on the other driver to exchange all your pertinent information. Provide and ask for names, addresses, phone numbers, and license plate numbers. Be sure to exchange your car insurance information. This is important so you can know who to file your claim with, if the other person was at fault. It also gives the other driver the same opportunity. Work with the other driver(s) in order to make sure the accident area is secure while waiting for the police. If you can move your cars, then try to get out of high traffic areas. A nearby parking lot is preferable, but if not available, then try to get onto the shoulder of the road.
Contact the police and give them as detailed of an account of the events as you can. Try to re-enact the scenario, recall if you broke any traffic laws, and divulge any other details you can remember. If you're found at fault, you never know how extenuating circumstances can aid your case. This will help the police determine what happened and who was at fault. You also should get the name of the officer handling the case and the case number. All this information can add credibility to your claim.
Finally, document all damage to your vehicle. Whether it is writing down a detailed description or taking a photo with your camera phone, documenting damage is important not only for the insurance claim, but also as material evidence should the other driver take legal action against you.
Make sure to follow these steps in order to properly prepare yourself for whatever occurs after the collision. Possessing this knowledge should enable you to experience a smoother situation with both the other parties involved in the accident as well as the police.