We all want to avoid being involved in a car accident. They’re stressful at best and life threatening at worst. However, sometimes even the best drivers get into accidents. Bad weather conditions or a reckless driver on the road can mean that avoiding an accident just isn’t possible.
If you’re unfortunate enough to get into a car accident, there are several things you’ll need to do. In the long term, you’ll need to speak to your insurance company and might need to contact a lawyer (check out this Fort Lauderdale lawyer dealing with car accident cases). But what should you do immediately after a car accident?
The first thing you must do after a car accident is stop your vehicle. You must do this even if the incident isn’t serious. To carry on driving (also known as a hit and run) is a lawful offense and you could get into serious trouble.
The next step after an accident is to turn your hazard lights on – especially if your vehicle is blocking the road. Hazard lights alert fellow drivers that your car is there and instructs them to go around. Not doing so could cause dangers to other drivers and cause further incidents.
Check for injuries
Once you’re safely out of the way, you’ll need to check for injuries if you can. Is anything hurting? Are you able to move? If so, then you can go ahead and safely leave your vehicle (don’t forget to keep a first-aid kit in the boot of your car, in case of scrapes or scratches). However, if moving hurts, you should stay put and call an ambulance if you can. Don’t endanger your body further by attempting to move when it’s in pain.
Check your vehicle
If you have been able to leave the vehicle safely, you’ll need to assess the situation. Does your vehicle have significant damages? If it’s dark, use the light on your phone to check it out properly (it’s also useful to keep a flashlight in your boot, just in case of emergencies).
Once you’ve assessed the state of your vehicle, you’ll need to take some photos, both of the damages to your vehicle and any surrounding issues, like damages on the road or other vehicles involved. Photographic evidence of the event will help if you speak to a lawyer later down the line and could be used to argue your side.
After taking your photos, you’ll need to speak to anyone else involved in the accident – or witnesses. Get the contact details of anyone who saw what happened and check that they are happy to be contacted. Again, they could be useful during legal proceedings.