If you have the misfortune to find yourself in a severe accident, you may be too overwhelmed afterward to know what to do. This is why it can be helpful to know those steps in advance so that you don’t have to try and figure it all out at the moment. Below, we’ll outline some of the steps that you should take after a severe accident. Hopefully, you won’t ever need them, but if you do, you’ll be glad you know what to do.
Call for Emergency Assistance
The first step is to call for emergency service. In any severe accident, you’re going to want emergency personnel there to help with the situation. Make sure someone involved with the accident or anyone nearby calls the police right away so that they can get there as soon as possible.
Emergency personnel can perform a number of duties once they arrive on the scene. Police can rope off the area of the accident or direct traffic around it to keep everyone safe. They can also create a report of the accident, which you may need later for insurance purposes. The fire department can assist if there are any fires, which can sometimes happen in a severe car accident. Finally, EMTs can ensure that everyone involved in the accident gets the required medical attention that they need. One call can get these services to you right away so make this your first priority right after an accident.
Swap Information with Other Drivers
If you’re capable, swap basic information with any other drivers involved in the accident. Some information you’ll want to get includes their name, their insurance information, and the make/model of their vehicle. It can also be a good idea to record their license plate and to take some pictures of the accident scene. The more information you collect, the easier time you’ll have when it comes to the insurance process. Getting information is especially important if a lawsuit results from the accident. An easy way to swap information is by using the camera on your phone to take pictures of their paperwork and vehicle.
Take Care of Yourself
After a severe car accident, it’s common to have some injuries. If you’re lucky, they’re only minor injuries. However, no matter how minor your injuries may seem, it’s important to take care of your body properly. According to County Line Chiropractic, a Miami car accident doctor, “Even a minor car accident injury can have long-term repercussions. Without proper treatment, the effects of any auto accident, workplace accident, or personal accident can continue to get worse over time.” Visit a doctor and let them perform a thorough examination of you to ensure there are no underlying issues you’re unaware of.
In addition to taking care of your body, take care of your mind. It’s not uncommon to experience some stress after a severe accident. It may take you some time to get behind the wheel again. Give yourself all the time you need and consider talking to a professional therapist to help you work through any anxieties.
Repair Your Vehicle
After taking care of yourself, now it’s time to take care of your vehicle. Find a local auto shop in your area that can assist with car repairs. Before they perform any work, ask for an estimate and ensure that your insurance plan covers the repairs. If your insurance won’t pay for something, you’ll want to know about this before you tell the mechanic to perform any repairs you can’t afford.
In some cases, your car may receive so much damage that it doesn’t make sense to repair it, as the repair costs outweigh the value of the vehicle. If this happens, you’ll need to start your search for a new vehicle. Your insurance coverage should provide you with some assistance in this regard, including money for a new car and paying for a rental vehicle until you find one.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, once you’ve got everything taken care of, take some time to review the accident in your mind. See if there is anything you could have done to avoid the accident. For example, maybe you were adjusting the music through your dashboard or assisting your kids in the back seat. The best thing you could do is learn from your mistakes so that it’s less likely you end up in another severe accident. Something simple like using voice commands to change your music could make a big difference in the future and help you stay safe on the road.
Getting into an accident isn’t pleasant, but knowing how to take care of it can make the aftermath more manageable. Hopefully, this guide was able to provide some clarity and you’ll be able to reduce your stress level if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation.