If you've ever been in a car accident, you know it can be tough to think clearly. Car accidents can be traumatic events, even if everyone ends up unharmed.
Since the scene of the accident can be chaotic, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the things you should do if you're involved in an accident. Here are six things to remember if you get into an accident:
* Prepare your vehicle. Always keep up-to-date insurance information in your glove box, as well as pencil and note pad so you'll be able to take down the other person's information. The information you get from the other driver should include their name, address, phone number, insurance information and license plate number.
* Get out of harm's way. Your first consideration should be to get to a safe place, and if possible, get your vehicle out of the way of any oncoming traffic. Get as far away from traffic as possible when you exchange information with the other driver.
* Call authorities, if necessary. If anyone thinks they may be injured, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, filing a police report - whether with an officer at the scene, at a police station or through an online form after the fact - is a good idea to help guide the claims process. If there's major damage, it's always a good idea to call authorities as laws vary across states for the minimum amount of damage necessary for reporting an accident.
* Know what not to say. While you may feel the need to apologize if you think you caused the accident, never tell the police or the other driver it was your fault. Simply state the facts when reviewing how the accident happened.
* Obtain visual proof. It's always a good idea to carry some sort of camera with you when you drive, even if it's the camera on your phone. Taking time-stamped pictures of the damage to both vehicles provides the best evidence, should you ever have a dispute with a claim.
* Document any injuries. If you were injured in the accident, it's possible you might be due an injury settlement as compensation. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you determine whether or not you should pursue additional compensation. For more information on how the injury claims process works, visit www.injury-settlement-guide.com.
Getting into a car accident is never a pleasant experience, but by preparing yourself for the worst, you can make sure the situation doesn't take another turn for the worse.