A simple car wreck can radically change your life or just be a nuisance. The way that you handle the situation from the start will make a huge difference in how things play out. To make sure that your outcome is as safe and stable as possible, consider the tips below.
Confirm Your Safety
Right after the wreck, review the area and your situation. To the best of your ability, check to see if you and your passengers are injured. Then check your surroundings. Are you still in the way of traffic, or are you out of the path of oncoming vehicles? Is your car still running, or has it stopped? If your car is out of traffic or traffic has stopped for you, call 911. Avoid getting out of the car immediately as you can accidentally step into traffic after a wreck.
While talking to the police and waiting for the tow truck, gather information from others in the wreck. Be polite and do your best to avoid getting angry. Modern cars are quite safe, so your chances of serious injury in many wrecks are actually small. Road rage will not help and could lead to injury.
Notify the Insurance Company
You will need to notify your insurance company and you may need to contact their insurance company. Be aware that, while wrecks can happen at any time, insurance companies may not be able to take your call when you need them to. Do your best to stay calm and work with insurance, especially if the other driver is at fault. If you need a replacement vehicle while yours is repaired, do your best to wait until that rental can be set up and paid for by the insurance company, rather than waiting for reimbursement.
No matter which driver was at fault, car accidents can be extremely upsetting. The disruption can really scramble your life for a time, even if nobody was hurt in the accident. Accept that your plans for a while may have to be changed while you get things taken care of after a car wreck. Take a deep breath and handle problems one at a time until everything is taken care of.
Your first car accident can teach you a lot about your insurance, other people’s insurance, and the legal system. If you are lucky enough to be in an injury-free accident, hang in there and accept these lessons. They may serve you in the future. Be safe!
Author information: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.