Nobody wants to be in a vehicle accident. However, it can happen to just about anybody at any time. A vehicle accident is more than a hindrance for those who are involved in it; it may also alter the course of someone’s life forever. When it does happen, being prepared can spell all the difference. Here are things to know when you find yourself in a vehicular accident and what to do After A Car Accident.
1) Find a panel beater
Did you come out of the accident unscathed? Great!
However, the condition of your car might be a different story.
First thing’s first, you’ll need it fixed. Panel beaters are specialists that offer to fix up dents, scratches, and dings on your car.
If your car sustained major damage to its bumpers or panels, youíll want to have it patched up. Getting it replaced can cost up to thousands of dollars, and you arenít guaranteed that a compatible replacement is available in local stores either.
Thatís why having a specialist on-call is a better alternative. Depending on the mechanic’s skill level, you can have your car patched up in a few days or less.
Get multiple quotes for panel beaters with DingGo.
2) Take pictures of the accident
One of the most important things to do after a car accident is to take as many photographs of the accident as possible.
These photos will serve as evidence in case the police get involved or in case you need to take legal action against the person who was at fault for the accident.
The reason this is crucial is because photographs provide objective evidence of who could be at fault and who’s not. This is useful when police authorities and insurance companies get involved.
3) Go to the curb or sidewalk
Once you’ve checked that everyone is okay, get out of your car and go sit on the street or the sidewalk at a safe distance away from traffic.
If the car is heavily damaged and leaking liquids or gasoline, there’s a moderate chance that it may catch fire. You should be far enough away from it if that happens.
To prevent any further injuries, you should wait for the police and first responders to arrive at a safe enough distance, usually around 20 feet.
4) Call an emergency hotline
One of the most critical things to do after a car accident is to call for help.
In Australia, the emergency hotline for car accidents is 000.
This hotline can be called for free on any phone. All you need to do is dial the number and tell the operator what happened, where it happened, and if there are any injuries involved. They’ll handle everything from there.
5) Scan the area and wait for the first respondents
When you call for help, the first responders and police will be dispatched immediately.
They will scan the area and make their way to where you were when calling for help.
Although first responders and police usually arrive within minutes, waiting for them can feel like an eternity. To pass time while you wait, take note of some things that’ll be useful as evidence later on:
- The names of those involved
- Their phone numbers, emails, and license numbers
- The owner of the car (if the driver isn’t the owner)
- Registration, make, and the plate(s) of involved cars
- The time and date of the crash
- Street name and position of the car
- Crash features such as road alignment and road conditions
- The weather
With all of this knowledge, you’ll be able to provide the authorities with a more complete picture so that they can make an informed decision.
6) Follow authority instructions
Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, you could either be let go or you could go directly to the hospital.
In the aftermath of a car crash, authority figures such as paramedics and police officers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to make the right call.
Whatever their instructions may be, you should follow them as closely as possible.†
As a rule of thumb, never assume anything when it comes to your health status. Always check with authority figures before doing anything after an accident.
7) Contact your insurer
After youíve verified your safe from any imminent danger, you may contact your insurer.
Your insurer should have made arrangements for tow trucks to take possession of your car so that it can be repaired or salvaged.
They should also be made aware of what you have documented during the accident and who was involved.
From there, all you need to do is wait for your car to get fixed or salvaged, depending on how badly it’s damaged.
Once this has happened, your insurer will come to pick it up and return it to you once it’s in working condition.
8) Check if anyone is hurt, including yourself
When you’re involved in a car accident, your first concern should be for the safety of everyone on board.
You should check if anyone is hurt and if they need immediate medical attention. If there are other vehicles around, check to see if they have sustained any damage from the accident. If there are people around, ask them to call for help. To avoid the bystander effect, call out a person specifically to get them to act. If you’re alone, don’t hesitate to pull out your phone and accomplish it yourself.
If you find yourself in an accident, it’s important not to panic.†
Follow the checklist above: consider you and your passengers’ safety, document everything, call for help, and wait for authorities to arrive at the scene.
Once you’re out of the road, you can contact panel beaters and/or insurers to help you deal with the financial mess the accident may have set you in.