According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 7 million car crashes in 2016. No one likes to think about being in a car accident, but chances are, at some point, you could find yourself in that situation. Accidents can be frightening and stressful. It’s good to be prepared and know what to do if you’re ever in a car accident.
- Check yourself and passengers for potential injuries. First and foremost, make sure you are ok, and then check on your passengers.
- Move to safety if you can. If no one is hurt and your car is drivable, police suggest moving it out of the way. However, if anyone is hurt, or your car is damaged, wait for police and don’t move from the area.
- Call for emergency services. Even if there are no visible injuries and you believe the damage is minor, call 911. In Wisconsin it is required under law to immediately report a crash to law enforcement if anyone is injured, if there is $200 or more in damage to government property or if there is $1,000 or more in damage to any person’s property.
- Limit conversations with the other party and don’t admit fault. Depending on the situation, it might be hard not to get out of your car and start getting upset with the other party involved. However, you should limit what you say. Do not admit blame or start blaming the other party.
- Take pictures. If you are in a safe spot and can take photos without risk of getting injured or disrupting traffic anymore than it may already be, taking photos of the accident. Document damage and car position.
- Contact insurance. Regardless of fault, it is very important to call your insurance company and report your accident. It is a common misconception that you don’t need to contact your insurance company if the accident wasn’t your fault. This is not the case, though, and your insurance needs to be notified, regardless of fault.
- Don’t panic. This should probably be listed right after checking yourself and passengers for potential injuries. Accidents are stressful no matter how big or small. As hard as it may be, try to stay calm and don’t panic. It’s easier to get all the information you need from those involved and the police if you are not panicking. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten, and repeat if necessary.