An accident is more than just an accident; it often ends up being a financial transaction between you and the other driver. After a collision, you may have to deal with the person for everything from vehicle repairs to medical treatments for injuries you sustained during the crash. If you have not handled the accident appropriately, it may hurt your chances of proving that it was not your fault.
Get out of the way
Accidents often happen in busy intersections, and the other cars are not prepared to come to a quick stop. If it is possible, move your car to a safe spot on the shoulder. If you are injured or unable to move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
Determine if everyone is okay
No matter how small the accident, there may still be injuries to drivers, passengers or other pedestrians on the road. If you are not hurt, check everyone else for injuries. If you are injured, stay in place until medical personnel arrive.
Always call the police
If it is just a small fender bender, it is tempting to just forego the call to police, exchange information and get on your way, but this can hurt you in the future. Never blame others or admit fault when talking to a police officer, but having an official police report can help you with your insurance company or legal case down the road.
Get proper documentation and evidence
If you are able, exchange information with other drivers involved. Get names, insurance information, license plate numbers, eyewitness contact information, the location of the accident and the badge number and name of any law enforcement officer involved. When you have a camera handy, snap a few pictures of the accident scene.
Get a medical exam
It is a no-brainer that you will be examined if there is a serious injury, but even small injuries should be treated at the time of the accident. Those injuries may not seem serious at first, but may flare up in the future. If you are unable to prove that they are related to the collision, it may be difficult to receive compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical treatment. Regardless of the type of accident, always see a medical professional for an official exam after.
When you have been injured in an accident and there are lasting repercussions that affect your quality of life, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney about your options.