A couple of days back, we had some terrible news. A friend who was traveling with his family was in a car accident. In moments, a happy trip turned into a tragic one. They’re still dealing with it, running around, filing reports, getting their car fixed, getting themselves fixed and chasing insurance. And when the dust has settled, it will take a long time for them to actually recover from the experience.
Getting into a car accident is an experience no one wants to face. One minute your day is going fine and the next you have a major problem to deal with. In some cases, the accident will only be a minor problem with your car, but in others, you could have some serious ramifications.
Whatever the severity of the accident, you’ll want to do everything you can afterward to make your life a little easier.
So, with that in mind, here are six things you can do to help yourself out immediately following a car accident.
6 important things to do when you have been in a car accident
Get All the Information You Need
The first thing to do after a car accident is swap information with other drivers involved. It’s important that you gather all this necessary information in case there is a disagreement later on involving your insurance agencies. You should speak to the other drivers and get their name, phone number, license plate number and insurance information.
Either write down this information on a piece of paper that you keep safe or take a picture with your phone of their license and insurance card. If the other driver tries to leave the scene before swapping information, do you best to quickly write down or remember the type of car they have along with the license plate number.
Take Plenty of Pictures
Another good thing to do is to take pictures of the accident scene. Snap some pictures of any damage your car received and any damage to other vehicles. If you sustained any minor injuries, it’s not a bad idea to take pictures of those as well. Finally, take some pictures of the surrounding area if they played a role in the accident. For example, if you went through a stop sign because it was obscured by tree branches, you will want to get some pictures of that. You never know what sort of problems you may have in the future dealing with this accident, so gathering plenty of evidence right after is a good idea.
Work with a Good Auto Repair Shop
If your car received any damage from the accident, you’ll want to get that taken care of. Whether it’s just cosmetic damage or something internal, you should find a reliable auto repair shop in your area to help you out. To find one, start by conducting a search online. Find a few options near you, then compare their online reviews.
Narrow down your choices to a select few that received the best feedback, then contact each for a quote. This will allow you to get a sense as to what it will cost to fix your car and which repair shop is offering the best price. This step may not be critical if insurance is covering all the repairs, but it’s still a good idea to find a shop with a strong reputation.
Use a Lawyer if Necessary
In some cases, you’ll need a lawyer after your car accident, especially if you need compensation for the damages the other driver’s negligence caused you or someone you love. Whatever the reason, you should take your time and select a lawyer with plenty of experience dealing with car accidents.
According to The Barnes Firm, a car accident attorney in Los Angeles, “The days following a car accident can be a very stressful and challenging time for all parties involved, and that’s why it’s critical to choose the right law firm to handle your car accident claim if any injuries were sustained.”
Learn from Your Mistakes
The best way to ensure an accident doesn’t happen again is by learning from your mistakes. Think back to the moments before the accident and see if there was anything you did that led to the accident. Maybe you were eating while you were driving or arguing with your kids in the back seat. If you find something, keep it in mind whenever you drive going forward to make getting into an accident less likely.
Allow Yourself Time to Heal
Finally, give yourself plenty of time to recover, both physically and emotionally. Getting into an accident can be rough, so if you don’t feel like you’re ready to get behind the wheel again, don’t push it. Take all the time you need to feel better, then get back to your normal life with a fresh start.
It’s never easy to go through something like this, but by doing things the right way, it can become a little more manageable.
Any tips to add? Please share in the comments.