Regardless of the extent of the damage, being involved in a car accident is a scary, confusing experience. That’s why you should know how to react before an accident takes place, which helps keep your wits about you when dealing with police and other drivers involved. U.S. News & World Report offers the following advice so you can navigate the aftermath of an accident with relative ease.
The police should be summoned to the scene as soon as possible. Even if there are no injuries, you should still contact local law enforcement. A police officer will help direct the flow of traffic around the scene, but he or she will also be integral in compiling a police report, which includes many pertinent details on what transpired. While waiting for the police, try to move your vehicle off the road if it’s safe to do so. If not, set up warning triangles or flares to alert other drivers.
Make sure you exchange all the necessary information with any other motorists involved. This should include your name and information on your car insurance company. While exchanging information, don’t assume blame for what occurred, even if you believe it’s your fault. It’s best to limit conversation with the other driver to ensure you’re not found liable for something you said. When the police arrive, give an honest accounting of what you believe happened and let them handle the matter.
You can also take down other information while you’re on the scene, such as pictures of your vehicle and where the accident took place. When there are disputes about fault, photographic evidence is often enlightening. You can also ask for the contact info for any bystanders on the scene. These people may be called to testify if your case goes to court.