No matter how long you have been driving, car accidents are still highly stressful. That is why all motorists must know what steps to take after a car crash, especially when crossing paths with a negligent driver.
First and foremost, remain calm as you assess the situation. By allowing cooler heads to prevail, you have a much better chance of holding the negligent party accountable for their actions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Move your vehicle to a safe area
After confirming that there are no serious injuries, try to move your vehicle off the road to a safe location. Turn on your hazard lights and get as far on the side of the road as possible. If you have them, use flares or warning triangles to alert your presence to other drivers. Always exercise caution when exiting your vehicle on a busy street to prevent injuries.
Call the police
You should still contact the police even if no one is seriously hurt. Law enforcement will report to the scene to assist with the flow of traffic around the accident. However, they will also create a police report, which can be highly beneficial when making an insurance claim. While on the scene, request a copy of the report to provide to your insurer.
Exchange information with other drivers
You should also speak with the other drivers involved to exchange insurance information. However, be careful about what you say when doing so. It is important to be polite and civil to other motorists but refrain from saying too much. Even a general apology can come across as an admission of guilt.
You must also contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Provide any information you have, such as where the accident took place, the date and time it occurred, and the insurance information you procured from other drivers.