Getting in your first car accident can be overwhelming, especially if you do not know what to do right after the accident. Following these steps will help you ensure the safety of everyone involved in the collision and make sure that you gather all the information necessary to file a claim.
Don’t leave the scene.
After a collision, no matter who or what caused the accident, you must bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Do not move your car until you have checked that you, your passengers and the person involved in the collision are not injured. You or your passenger might be in a state of shock and not realize that you are injured, so make sure that you look for any signs of physical injury and ask them to do the same for you. Regardless of the accident’s severity, you are legally required to stay at the scene.
If you or anyone on the scene is injured in any way, you should call 911 immediately. You might not be fully aware of the extent of the damage done, so it’s vital that you have access to medical care after the accident to ensure that you and your passengers are safe.
Move the car if you’re not injured.
To prevent a secondary collision, pull your vehicle to the side of the road or out of harm’s way if your vehicle is drivable. Pulling off to the shoulder, for example, will allow cars to pass by you safely. If you can’t move the car for any reason, do everything possible to alert other drivers that an accident has occurred. Turning on your hazard lights, putting cones around the scene and lifting your vehicle’s hood will notify other drivers that there has been a collision.
If possible, exchange information.
Once you have ensured that you and the passengers are safe and the authorities are on their way, exchange the following information from the other driver involved:
- Full Name
- Driver’s Phone Number / Email Address
- Insurance Information (Agent Name, Policy Number and Phone Number)
- Make and Model of the Car
- Driver’s License Number
- License Plate Number
If possible, get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
Getting the information from any witnesses around will help you when you’re settling the claim. Having witnesses corroborate the events that occurred during the collision is helpful but not necessary. So if you cannot get the names or numbers of witnesses, don’t worry; it will not affect your claim.
Document the scene.
Trying to recall the collision a few days later can be difficult; most victims undergo a shock, rendering them unable to remember what happened a few hours later. Taking photos or videos of the scene while it’s fresh will help you remember what happened and document the damages done to both vehicles. If it’s safe to do so, try to take photos and videos of the damage done before you move your vehicle.
Make Important Calls.
After assessing the scene, the police will give you the green light to leave the scene of the car accident. If you can’t drive your car due to damage, call a towing company to move your vehicle and call your family to ensure you get a safe ride home.
Contact a car accident lawyer.
The rules and regulations of car accidents in Edmonton, Alberta, are unique to the region. It’s crucial that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer to guide you through the process of making a claim.
Looking For A Car Accident Lawyer?
With over 250 years of combined injury law experience, James H. Brown and Associates are available 24/7 to offer you the help you need. You can book a free, no-obligation injury claim evaluation to discuss everything related to your collision. An experienced car accident lawyer will answer any questions you have and help you decide whether pursuing a claim would be beneficial for you or not. Contact us today to book your appointment.
If you’re looking for what to do a few days after the car accident, check out part 2 of this blog.