Steps to Take if You Are Involved in a Traffic Accident

auto accidents
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Finding yourself involved in an auto accident is a shock to the senses. Once you break yourself out of the initial daze from the crash, the first thing to do is to stay as calm as possible and evaluate yourself and your passengers for any injuries.

Call 911. Be sure to let the 911 emergency operator know if there are injuries and how many people may require help. The 911 operator is experienced in guiding you until the authorities arrive at the scene.

Tell the 911 operator if you smell gas and you feel there is danger of a fire. Follow the instructions from the 911 operator. Try to stay as calm as possible with the 911 operator so you are giving the best information for them to evaluate and advise you. They are there to help.

If there are no major injuries, moving all passengers safely from your vehicle is your next best action. If there is a passenger with possible back or neck injuries it is best not to move them to avoid further damage. Be sure to check with the person in the next car for injuries.

Keep your cool and avoid any arguments on who is to blame. Safety for all is the most important consideration at this point.

Even if the accident has not caused injuries, you must call 911 and report the accident anyway. Not getting a police report on the scene may create a blame game scenario between the drivers later. A police report is necessary to sort out the details for insurance companies to pay claims.

Failing to report an accident is considered a crime as is leaving an accident scene in most states. Being late for an appointment is not excusable to the police.

While waiting for the police to come, make note of the time, take photos of the vehicles and intersection and request the driver of the other vehicle exchange license and insurance documentation with you. Photos on your cell phone work great in documenting that information quickly and accurately. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and record their statement on your phone with their permission.

Once the law enforcement arrives, you will need to provide them with your information to receive the accident report. You also need to call your insurance company at your first opportunity to report the accident.