An auto accident can be a very scary event. In what feels to be a “blink of an eye”, the world has suddenly changed. Your car may be destroyed and even worse you and/or your passengers may be seriously injured. No one wants or even imagines him or herself being involved in an auto accident. However, that does not mean a driver should not be prepared in case the unthinkable happens. One of the best things any driver or passenger can do is to know what steps to follow, if he or she is involved in an accident. The following list is something every driver should review:
- Try to remain calm. Although an accident can be very frightening and overwhelming it is important to remain as cool and collected as possible. Now is not the time to panic, but for action.
- Triage. The most important thing to do is to determine if there any injuries to drivers, passengers or pedestrians. If so, you will want to call 911 or an ambulance right away. If you are in doubt whether an injury requires the paramedics, it is always a good to call just to be safe.
- Access the situation. If it is minor accident and the vehicles can be moved, it is best to move the vehicles off of the roadway and away from traffic, like the side of the road. If the vehicles are not able to be moved, you will need to alert other motorists of the accident. This can be done by the use of road flares, traffic cones, or a vehicle’s hazard lights. This advice also holds true if the accident takes place at dusk or at night.
- Contact police. Once everyone is safe, contact the police if you have not done so already. You will want to remain at the scene until the police arrive.
- Gather information: After an accident there is certain information you should gather. If you do not have paper and/or a pen handy you can use a smart phone to document the following information:
- Names of drivers involved and their passengers;
- Names and contact information of any witnesses;
- Make, model, color and license plate numbers of the vehicles involved;
- Insurance card information, including the name of the insured and the relationship to the driver, in the event it is not the same person;
- General notes about the accident including:
- Series of events that led up to the accident;
- Weather conditions;
- Damage to vehicles or other property;
- Injuries to yourself and/or others; and
- Photos or videos of the scene, if possible.
- Notify your insurance carrier. You will want to review your insurance policy and notify your insurance carrier in accordance with the policy terms.
- Contact an attorney. Most people think that their insurance company will protect them in the event of an accident. This is not true! If you were involved in an auto accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible and before you speak with an insurance adjuster or sign any documents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, it is important to remember to act promptly. Victims of auto accidents have rights and to safeguard those rights, it is important to have a skilled advocate on your side. The Oklahoma Auto Accident Attorneys at The Handley Law Center has been providing Oklahoma auto accident victims with aggressive representation for more than 30 years. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. Our experienced attorneys prepared to whatever is necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.