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What Should You Do After a Car Accident? Part 2

In our last post, we discussed some things you should remember if involved in a car accident. Below is the continuation of that list.

Exchange information with other drivers. Regardless of who you may feel is at fault, you should exchange information with all of the other drivers in the accident. Among the information to exchange are names, phone numbers, and insurance companies. You should also take note of the license numbers for the other cars, just in case one of the drivers gives a false name or phone number.

One think to be wary of is giving out your insurance information if you decide not to call the police. Not every accident requires that law enforcement be called, but if you feel that the collision may be serious enough to give rise to an insurance claim, you may want the police to evaluate the situation and file a report. Without a police report, you may wind up dealing with an insurance claim pitting your version of the crash versus the other driver's with no impartial report from the police to support your version of the events.

Don't overreact. Getting into an accident is both scary and frustrating. It may be easy to get into a verbal confrontation with the other driver, especially if you feel he or she is at fault. Try to keep your emotions in check. Hostility will only make matters worse. It is usually best to call the police and let them sort the matter out. Overreacting to the situation may escalate the situation leading to criminal charges after a confrontation, or it could encourage an unwarranted lawsuit.

Take steps to avoid similar accidents in the future. An accident can be a traumatic event, but it can also be something that you learn from. Many people don't realize the danger of tailgating, speeding, and distracted driving. Once you have been in an accident, you probably have a better understanding of what you should and shouldn't do behind the wheel. If you take your accident as a learning experience, you should be able to take that knowledge and avoid similar accidents in the future.

Related Resources:

So you're in an accident ... what now? (Shreveport Times)

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