A car accident is always a sudden and unexpected thing. Nobody can predict when and where it can happen. Hence it is important that you are always prepared for any eventuality.
The following are the steps that one must try to follow immediately after a car accident.
The first step is to make sure that you do not panic. Try to maintain a calm demeanor and make sure that you are in control of the situation.
Check to see whether your passengers are unharmed. Also make sure that you have not sustained any major injuries. If you have, you will have minutes to place an emergency call before you lost consciousness. After this, check to see whether the people in the other car and other bystanders or third persons are unharmed. If anyone is seriously injured, call the emergency services immediately. And also begin emergency resuscitation procedures as soon as possible. If you know CPR or other emergency techniques, you must employ them immediately. The first hour after an accident is the most crucial and any constructive effort made during this period can change lives. After doing this, move as far away from the scene of the accident, but do stay within visual range of the accident site. This is because, a stationary car on the freeway can become the epicenter of a pile up and you do not want to be on the road when this happens. Try to warn other road users about your car by turning on your hazard lights or placing flares around the vehicle.
Call the police. Even if no one is seriously injured, it is important that you call the police in order to register your complaint. You will require this in order to claim your insurance.
Also if you feel that you might be a victim of an auto insurance scam, do mention it to the police. This way they can take action immediately at the spot.
Contact your insurance company and let them know about the accident. You will have to do this in any case even if you were not at fault in the accident. Nowadays, with the no fault clause, you can claim insurance from your insurance company even if you were not at fault in the accident. This is usually done in order to pay off immediate bills while you fight your case in court.
Make sure you do not admit fault under any case. In order to protect yourself legally, do not talk to anyone else about the accident other than the police and your insurance company.
Exchange contact information with the other driver. This will include names, telephone numbers, license and registration numbers, and insurance company numbers. Also make sure you take down the VIN or vehicle identification number of the other vehicle. The VIN is a unique number which can be found on the chassis and the engine of the car. It is a number which is used to track any and every vehicle on the road. Also try and collect as many witnesses as you can. This should mostly include people who were not directly involved in the car accident.