Accidents happen so fast that you never have any idea what's coming. One moment you're listening to a podcast and driving calmly through an intersection with a green light. The next minute, you're pulling yourself out of a totaled car on the side of the road.
Now what? It is very easy to forget what to do in a chaotic situation like this, something you may not have prepared for and may never have been through before. Below are seven important steps to take if you are involved in a car crash:
- Check to see if anyone got hurt. Make sure you are all right and that everyone else is fine. If not, seek medical attention. Prioritize this over everything else.
- Pull the car to the side of the road and out of traffic, if possible.
- Get in touch with the authorities. Call 911 if they are not already on the scene.
- Document the scene. Take pictures, write down what happened and take videos on your phone. If you have a dash camera, save the video of the crash.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Never say that the crash was your fault. Even while talking to the other driver, though asking if he or she got hurt is fine, never say the wreck was your fault. Even if you think it was, there could be factors you are overlooking, like roadway design defects or automotive defects.
The final step is simply to make sure that you know all of your legal rights. If you got hurt in the crash, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills.