What do I do?
If you are reading this from your smart phone, CALL 911
If you haven’t already, CALL 911. You are reading this on your smart phone, try to assess the situation while waiting for emergency response vehicles. Are you hurt? Are you conscious? Obviously you are or you wouldn’t be reading this from your smart phone. Are your passengers hurt? If so, try to stay calm, stay in your car to avoid additional injuries it is important to remain in your vehicle with seat belts on until emergency vehicles arrive. It is very important to instruct passengers to do the same. If a passenger complains of head or neck pain, instruct them not to move until Medical Emergency personnel arrive on the scene. Is it very important not to move someone with a head or neck injury as additional or more severe injury could occur. The only exception to this is if the vehicle itself could be a danger, such as a gas leak and there is a possibility of the vehicle to catch on fire, it may be necessary if possible to vacate the vehicle.
This would be the time to reach for your Accident Prepared Kit if you have one. Click here for Accident prepared kit: (refer to Part A). It could be helpful to write everything down that you remember about the accident while waiting for emergency responders. Refer to the Accident Prepared Kit (click here)
The emergency response vehicles are now on the scene. If you are able, be extremely careful exiting your vehicle. Exchange information with the other driver(s): Click here information you need: (refer to section B). Get as much information from witnesses also. Even if you feel the accident was your fault do not tell either the emergency personnel or the other driver that you feel that way. Let that be determined by the police. Follow the instructions of the officers or the medical personnel. There are going to be a lot of questions. Even minor accidents can cause injury so be as honest with your answers as possible as to not let an injury to go unnoticed.
Ambulances have been called, the injured are on the way to the hospital. The police have gotten all the pertinent information. If you are not one of the injured and your vehicle is not drivable the tow truck has been called. Remove all personal property from your vehicle before the tow truck arrives. Make sure that you get the officers name and the case number of his/her report. The police report will be very important for property damage and/or injury that may not have been discovered at the scene. Remember there can never be too much information documented when it comes to an accident. If you have a cell phone with a camera, it is wise to take pictures of both your own vehicle and the other vehicles involved. The more information you have and recorded on the damage the better off you will be whether dealing with insurance companies or not. If the other driver involved offers to pay you for damage without dealing with insurance, you can’t trust that. To protect yourself, make sure you have all the important information that you need.
You may not be thinking clearly after the accident. You may be in shock and may not realize you are injured or remember the steps to take following the accident. It could be very helpful to include a printout of the steps to follow in your Accident Prepared Kit.