Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by John Robinson
Picture the following. You wake up in the morning, have yourself a cup of black coffee, get in the car, and drive to work. Suddenly, you realize that you are arriving late. Really late. You drive faster, but feel so nervous about your current situation that you barely have time to think. Then the accident occurs. Your car has collided with another one. You didn’t get injured at all, and neither did the other driver. However, you cannot think clearly. You were already running late, and now this happens? What are you going to do? A terrible experience, indeed. However, you must keep your feet on the ground, and here are six things you need to remember after a car accident.
1. Don’t Argue
Avoid discussing the incident at all costs. According to writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie, there is only one way to win an argument – stay away from it.
This is because our instinct is to always blame the other party. Rarely do we accept responsibility for our misdeeds. Excuses are plenty, and in the heat of the moment, it is more likely that you’ll be driven by emotion than by reason.
However, even if you are sure that the other driver is at fault for the car accident, control your urge to cast blame. The argument could escalate quickly and the other person could harm you one way or another. Just wait until authorities arrive at the accident scene. They will know how to handle the situation.
2. Call Emergency Services
Rather obvious, isn’t it? Not really. You’ll be surprised to know how many drivers “solve” the problem by themselves, without calling for the police, or engaging the services of an attorney.
This occurs mainly because some accidents seem too minor to create much fuss about. Is the car in good condition? Are all the passengers of both vehicles feeling well? Good. Why even bother contacting authorities?
In some states, calling the police is legally required. However, even if it’s perfectly legal not to call them, you shouldn’t trust your instincts. What if the accident seems small but it is severe? What if the issues appear later on? What if you injured yourself but didn’t notice it at all?
Call 911. There are no excuses.
3. The Driver’s Information
After calling emergency services, you must ask for the driver’s information. This includes name, phone number, address, license plate number, driver’s license, car model, insurance policy number, and carrier. If possible, write down the location of the accident.
Remember: calm your nerves no matter what. Don’t argue with or blame any other party involved. Just ask for information and wait for the police to arrive. Also, avoid signing any paper unless the authorities or insurance agent asks for it.
4. No Tickets
Once the policemen arrive, they will ask for information on both parties. They will write that information down, and finally, write a ticket for the driver who’s at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
More often than not, police leave without giving a ticket to anyone. This is inconvenient. After all, who will compensate you for the incident? In case you weren’t written a ticket after your crash, you need to contact a car accident attorney. It is beneficial to rely on the help of an expert to determine who was responsible for the crash. This small detail could be the difference between winning and losing the trial.
5. Seek Medical Attention
You’ve just been in an accident. Although your car ended up being severely damaged, you don’t find yourself injured at all. Despite the unpleasant experience, you’re not experiencing any pain of any kind. Great, that means that you’re safe, right? Wrong. It doesn’t.
Many car accident injuries are not apparent for a long while after the incident. For this reason, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as you can. Don’t rely on how you’re feeling as any indication of your medical well-being. You may be in real danger if you don’t get thoroughly examined by a doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
6. Get Back On Track As Fast As You Can
Serious crashes are understandably traumatic. Maybe the experience was such a shock that you prefer waiting before getting into a car and driving once again. “After I feel a bit better”, you tell yourself. The bad news is that this could backfire in the long run.
It is a fact that recovering from a traumatic event gets harder the more you avoid dealing with it. Find a therapist to help you feel safe behind the wheel again. Otherwise, you may never recover at all.
Car accidents are no joke. Even if they seem minor on the surface (a small scratch, no injuries), they might be hiding some serious problems that may emerge later on. Be wise, and call the police.
Then, discuss everything with your attorney. Together, they will help bring closure to this nightmare once and for all.