If you’ve been in a car accident, your head is probably spinning. No two accidents are the same, but you may have an injury. Your passengers or the people in the other vehicle may be hurting, too. As US News said, “Being in a car wreck, even if it’s just a minor fender bender, can be extremely stressful.”
It’s easy to say, “First things first!” But, accidents will confuse and disorient you. As a good driver, you might plan on the possibility, have your documents accessible, and rehearse some emergency response with your family. Still, your first job is keeping your calm.
5 steps to take after a car crash:
- Assess the situation: You should check on all the people involved and render care where you are qualified. If you are able, you must call 9-1-1 to secure first response and advice on handling injuries. However, you should not risk aggravating injuries without help from first responders.
- Call the police: You should ask 9-1-1 to send police as well as EMS. Some injuries may not appear until later, and some injuries may be internal. So, you need medical attention and assessment as soon as possible.
But, you also need the police to file an accident report. In some jurisdictions, they do not require a police report for fender benders or accidents without injury. But, you may still need a police report for your insurance claim.
- Take pictures: You should take photos of the accident damage to all the vehicles involved from all angles. If there are injuries involved, you want pictures of the injuries and the accident scene, too, if possible.
- Talk to the police: If you can, you should avoid talking to the other parties. If you wait for the police, you can report your version of events. You can point out witnesses and invite your passengers to tell their story.
You must exchange information on your license and insurance with the other driver. But, you can ask the police to do that for you.
- Make your claim: You must call your insurance company as soon as possible. They will remind you what to do, and it’s in your interest to follow their orders.
But, insurance claims adjusters work for the insurance company. They are bound to keep expenses low, and that may not be in your interest. So, you also need an attorney to help you navigate the insurance claims process, to secure the fairest settlement, and to optimize your court experience if necessary. In the Orlando area, you will find help at https://coyelaw.com/practice_areas/orlando-car-accident-attorney.cfm.
Keeping your calm
Even the most minor accidents are stressful. They can really ruin your day. And, hopefully, the physical damage and personal injury will be minor, too.
But, for minor and major accidents, you should have a response behavior that protects your health and financial interests.
The City of Orlando allows, “Drivers of vehicles involved in a crash in which all parties have agreed not to notify the Orlando Police Department may complete a crash report online” except in multiple situations like hit-and-run, DUI, fatality, obvious injury, and more.
But, selecting an attorney now—and carrying that contact information with you—will give you the edge on handling the steps to take after a car crash.