For many Americans, including those lucky enough to live or work in beautiful San Francisco, California, hitting the road is simply a fact of daily life. With millions of motor vehicles sharing the limited amount of space offered by the nation’s highways and streets, accidents are almost inevitable. It doesn’t matter how cautiously you drive. The possibility of being involved in crash is always there. Do you know what to do if things go wrong on the road? Are you prepared for the accident’s aftermath? Do you understand why a San Francisco car accident lawyer can be such a valuable ally for victims of car accidents?
What to Do When in a Car Accident
A car accident can shatter the calmest day without warning. Being involved in a crash often triggers a cascade of unsettling emotions that can make determining your next move challenging. What do you need to do when you’re caught up in a motor vehicle accident?
- Strive for calm. What you say and do in the immediate aftermath of a crash matters. Despite the stress of the situation, stay calm. Choose your words carefully. Be polite, but do not admit fault.
- Check on all drivers and passengers. Check that everyone involved in the collision is okay. If there are injuries, call for medical assistance.
- Move to safety. While you should never leave the scene of an accident, it is okay to move to the side of the roadway.
- Call the police for assistance. Call 911 to report the accident. Note the responding officer’s name and contact information. Don’t forget to ask how you can get a copy of the police report.
- Exchange information. Trade contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the collision. Write down their names, phone numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers. Be sure to get the name of their insurers and their policy numbers and to record the make, color and model of the vehicles and their respective license plate numbers.
- Gather the facts. Document the accident by taking pictures of the location and the vehicles. In addition, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Seek additional medical care if needed. If you’ve been injured, seek out appropriate medical care. Keep careful records.
- Inform your insurance company. Notify your insurer about the accident.
- Consider consulting a car accident attorney. If the accident resulted in injuries or significant damage, reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your interests and explore your options.