How to Manage a Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day. No one wants to be in a car accident, but if you are, it’s important to know what to do. If you are in a car accident where you are seriously injured but still able to use your phone, you need to call emergency services immediately and wait for the ambulance to arrive. If you are not seriously injured, there are a few things you need to do.


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    Try to stay calm. After you’ve been in a car accident, it may seem difficult to stay calm, but it is important to keep your wits about you. Your top priority right after an accident is to maintain the safety of everyone involved and to take actions to prevent more accidents or injuries.
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    If the accident is minor and both cars are still functioning, move them off the road or to the side of the road. If the cars are not functioning and it is clear they will have to be towed, turn on your hazard lights, and exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so. If you have flares or a warning triangle in your emergency car kit, now is the time to use them. Put them out as a heads-up to other drivers so no one else crashes into the pile-up.
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    Check for injuries. Ask every passenger in your car if they’re all right, then check on the driver and passengers of the other vehicle involved in the accident. If needed, call for an ambulance.
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    Call the police to avoid fines. Depending on what state you're in, for accidents involving injury, death or property damage above a certain amount (for example, $1,500 in Utah), you're required to call law enforcement as soon as possible. If you’re not sure how much property damage has been caused, don’t try to be the judge; describe the accident to the police dispatcher and they will decide whether to send officers to the scene. If not, they may just tell you to file an accident report at a local station or online.
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    If you were in the hit car, a police report can be beneficial to you when it comes time to determine liability. The insurance companies of each of the drivers work together to determine liability and one of the most credible documents the insurers will use is an official police report. If you were the one responsible for the accident, it is still a good idea to call the police because it could be that the driver you hit contributed to the accident, or there may have been factors beyond your control that reduce your responsibility.
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    Exchange insurance information with the other driver. If you are injured and want to make sure you get a fair settlement it is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later.

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Categories: Injury and Accidents