Oh no, that can’t be! – you exclaim at the moment when you realize that you were in a car accident. You refuse to believe, you are shocked. But it happened. And what you do next will depend on whether the world changes for you for the better. So, what should you do after car accident! It is important to consider what accident happened: light and heavy, how many cars were involved in the accident, whether you, passengers and other participants in the accident were injured.
An accident is not a smartphone or a kettle breakdown. This is a serious matter. It is not surprising that many drivers are often lost in such situations and, despite the fact that they are aware of the situation and know what to do after car accident, forget the basic. We have prepared for you the most important things that a driver should do immediately after an accident. Yes, of course, it’s better not to get into an accident. But forewarned means armed. No one is safe from traffic accidents.
Stay close to the scene after car accident
More than 6 million traffic accidents occur in the USA annually. This is a lot. So every people have a pretty big chance to get into an accident. If God forbid, this happens to you, a lot depends on what you will do in the first 10 minutes after what happened. You must stay close to the scene after car accident.
In particular, how the accident will affect your life and the lives of your passengers (if they were injured). The first advice that we want to give to everyone who got into an accident is to stay as close as possible to the scene. Stay there as long as possible, unless, of course, you need urgent medical attention. Otherwise, you will be liable for leaving the accident spot.
Immediately after car accident, turn on the emergency light to alert other drivers of the danger. Alarms will attract the attention of other road users. So you protect your car from another accident that happens at the scene of an accident. Also, immediately place an emergency sign on the road so that road users can reduce their speed in advance and go around you and other participants in the accident.
If possible, do not stand on the road
When you get out of the car, try not to stand on the roadway if possible. Remember that this is very dangerous. Often, other road users do not notice the drivers getting out of the car and knock them down. There are also many inattentive drivers who may not see the accident in advance and the warning triangle and do not even think of slowing down. And thus, as a rule, another accident occurs. Therefore, in order to avoid such a development of events, you are better off.
Call the traffic police
If the participants of the accident have disagreements, more than two cars were damaged in the accident, the amount of damage exceeds the established limit, or if one of the drivers/passengers are injured, call the police, ambulance, etc. using the single emergency number – “999”.
Recall that, according to the current legislation, you can settle an accident without police officers, if the amount of damage is too small, the participants have no disagreements and two cars participated in the accident. This is called Europrotocol. In this case, an accident can be arranged without traffic police if the participants of a traffic accident have an ERA-Glonass system installed in their vehicles or there is a special application on their phones that can be used to record accidents.
In particular, we remind you that according to the law, road accident participants are obligated to remove the damaged cars from the roadway as soon as possible, after having previously recorded them in a photo or video. Please note that traffic police officers have the right not to come to minor accidents. In this case, the accident participants may be asked to drive to the nearest traffic police post or to the nearest traffic police unit.
But what is better – when it is possible to arrange an accident yourself or entrust it to the traffic police? Here, of course, everyone must decide for himself.
In Russia, if you really do not have disagreements with another participant in the accident about the circumstances of the incident (that is, each of you understands who is to blame and who is not) and the amount of damage does not exceed 100 thousand rubles (and you are sure that there are no hidden damages in the car), then you can, of course, issue an accident without the traffic police, by following the procedure for compiling a Euro protocol. In other cases, we do not recommend that you make out accidents without traffic cops.
Do not try to regulate the movement yourself, leave this traffic police
Very often, traffic jams form at the scene of the accident until the affected vehicles are removed from the road. Sometimes, some participants in the accident begin to independently regulate traffic, helping other road users to drive through the scene of the accident. Do not do this. So you can only aggravate the situation. Leave this activity to the police.
Insurance data and other important information
While you are waiting for the police, you can exchange information for the insurance company with other participants in an accident by filling out each of your accident notification forms, which was issued to you together with the CTP policy.
By the way, if you purchased electronic insurance, then we advise you to go to any insurance company and get their accident notification form. You can also download and print it from the Internet.
From other participants in the accident, you should find out your full name (it is advisable to re-photograph the identity card, unless, of course, you are allowed to do this), phone numbers, and CTP number. If there are witnesses, be sure to take the data from them.
Keep your mouth shut
The first ten minutes and even several hours after the accident can be stressful for you. That is why drivers’ initial impression of the circumstances of an accident may be erroneous. During stress, our brain is not able to draw the right conclusions.
But when the stress passes, each of us begins to think more deeply about the circumstances of the accident. Do not make mistakes at the scene of the incident. It can come to your side during a further analysis of the accident in the traffic police or when making a payment to an insurance company.
Remember that if you admit your mistake at the scene of an accident, you may be recognized as the culprit of the accident. In this case, you will not receive insurance compensation. It also happens that all participants in an accident are often to blame for an accident. As a rule, in this case, the traffic police will establish a measure of guilt for each driver.
And, alas, it happens that when you partially admit your mistakes at the scene of an accident, you are declared the culprit of the accident. So think what you are saying to the other participants in the accident. Be better silent. Remember: language is your enemy.
Take a photo of a car in an accident
“Photos and videos are worth a thousand words” – remove cars and the whole place of an accident on a phone or camera. It is also advisable to remove all traffic signs, markings and traffic lights, the curb, the stop line, etc.
Unfortunately, when people begin to tell how the accident occurred, and also fill out a form of an accident notice, many people have problems with the image of the scheme. Often, road accident participants incorrectly draw the location of cars after an accident.
Photographing cars and places of an accident will help you in an insurance company. From the pictures, it is much easier to understand what actually happened than according to the participants of the road accident.
Take note of the time and weather
Time, date and weather are important facts in any car accident. Weather conditions can be associated with who was actually to blame for the accident and how much fault each driver has in the accident. In order not to miss anything important, write down simple facts related to what happened to your phone or notebook.
At a minimum, this process will calm you down a bit and help you gather your thoughts. By the way, pay attention to the condition of the road surface. If the road is broken (pits, cracks, etc.), or engine oil is spilled on it, or it is not cleared of ice and snow, then take a picture of it, because, perhaps, the main culprit of the accident is road or utility services that respond for the quality of the roadway.
Draw a crash diagram
Draw a diagram of the accident scene, even if you do not draw up an accident according to the rule. This will help you look at the accident from the side in a schematic form. It will also help in figuring out who is to blame for the accident. Include all street names in the diagram, draw intersections, markings, road signs, traffic lights and the places where each car stands after a collision. If you are illegally convicted of an accident, this scheme of yours can help you in court or in dealing with an insurance company.
Think twice before saying “I have not been injured or injured”
You may not feel really injured at the scene. But just as you should in no case admit your guilt at the scene of an accident, you should not say confidently that you have not suffered in an accident. In fact, you could be injured, but you are not aware of this because of shock and stress. Alas, it so often happens that people learn about getting injured in an accident when they arrived home after registration.
Consider getting medical attention
Even if you are really sure that you have not suffered, you must allow yourself to be examined by medical personnel who arrived at the scene after car accident. If doctors suggest you go to the hospital, then you definitely need to follow the advice.
Yes, emergency doctors can, of course, make mistakes, exaggerating the severity of your condition. And this is normal. Thus, they are just safe. After all, even if they are not sure of something, they are still obliged to invite you to go to the hospital.
Sometimes injuries are not immediately apparent due to shock/adrenaline. So if you feel pain, especially in the head, neck or stomach, then you should go to the hospital without talking. But even if nothing hurts you, some things in your car may indicate the nature of possible injuries.
For example, if you saw that the windshield has cracked on the driver’s side, then it is quite possible that you hit your head at the time of the accident. And even if you don’t have a headache, this does not mean that you did not get a head injury. Typically, such injuries manifest themselves several hours or even days after car accident.
Be careful with who you speak with at the scene of the accident.
This is terrible, but, unfortunately, the truth of life. Scammers may suddenly appear at the scene after car accident (if at all they did not become participants in the accident). Typically, these can be co-workers who create the appearance of an accident in order to breed an unsuspecting driver for money.
Often they work on several machines: one distracts, and the other comes close to the victim’s machine. Then a plastic bottle is thrown from the car over the victim’s car. As a result, an unsuspecting driver hears a thud, realizing that someone was hurt. Next begins the classic wiring. Be careful. Never agree to the terms of fraudsters to leave the scene of an accident and not to call police officers.
Also, at the scene of an accident, some car accident lawyers may appear offering their services to you. In any situation, do not sign anything. At this point, you are not able to report your actions. You just contact your personal lawyer to handle the situation.
Call your insurance company
Perhaps you do not understand or do not remember what needs to be done immediately after car accident, in addition to the above actions. But remember that you must call your insurance company for reporting the accident. Car insurance companies must assess the amount of damage. You may call your personal lawyer to deal with the police and with the insurance company.
Do not talk to people who are not involved in traffic accidents
Most drivers deny their guilt after car accident. And they’re doing it right. Admit guilt always has time. After all, guilt can be mutual. Not all experts on traffic rules and other laws. So let the traffic police officers and insurers take care of the degree of guilt of this or that driver.
Try not to communicate at the scene with non-accident participants. Indeed, many drivers like to call various support groups in the form of friends and acquaintances at the scene of the accident, who begin to be smart and give advice. Rid yourself of such communication with outsiders, as you may be forced to say something that discredits you, which may lead to the conclusion that the accident occurred through your fault.
Leave the right to draw conclusions to the court, the traffic police and the insurer, or let your car accident lawyer deal with this. So think before you say anything, including road accident participants. After all, all your words can be used against you.