Post Crash: What to Expect

Mar 2015

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You can never be too prepared for a crash. The following steps can help you out in the tight fix.

Keep Your Cool and Step Out of the Car

Don’t panic the moment you hear the inevitable sound of a crash. Take a deep breath. Check your body and other passengers, if there are any, to see that they are okay, that there is no blood or aching parts.

Assess Property Damage

If there’s no danger outside, i.e. if you don’t feel as if the accident was intentionally carried out, then it’s advised that you stay at the scene after stepping out of the car and begin collecting your facts. Don’t move the car unless it’s in the way of incoming traffic. If the car is not functional, turn on its hazard lights to alert approaching cars.
Take photos, note down the details of the other concerned driver(s) involved along with the present witnesses, including their names, addresses, number of passengers, and record the scene. Make sure that you pen down the model, make and year of the cars involved, the location, time and weather conditions as well in your brief description. All this helps protect your version of the incident, especially if the other person is bent on altering it.

Inform Authorities

The last, yet most important, thing to do is to contact the legal authorities and to get in touch with your insurance company even if there are minimal injuries/damages. If you don’t have a phone on you, ask someone else to call the emergency services. While you are free to show that you are worried for the other party, do NOT admit liability to the accident at the place only.
The police would want your registration, driver’s license, insurance card. They would also want personal information such as phone numbers. Answer their questions honestly, which, for instance can be whether you were wearing the seatbelt at the time.
An insurance company would require a copy of the police report too. Get the case number and the officers’ names who attended the scene. If that’s not possible, provide at least the name of the law enforcement agency who has taken up the case and the insurance info of the other driver.
While you may be confident about your driving skills and the crash can be the fault of another reckless driver, one has to understand the severity of the incident and act like a mature, responsible adult. Instead of fleeing from the scene or blaming others, stay calm, check and make a report of damages and injuries involved as you wait for the authorities to arrive.