No one anticipates getting into a car accident, but if you should be so unlikely as to find yourself involved in one, it is important to know how to respond to the situation to keep yourself as safe as possible.
Immediately after the accident, you should stay at the scene, regardless of whether you were the one who caused it. If you do leave, it could result in a serious criminal penalty or suspension of your license. You will likely feel a mix of many emotions, but try to stay as calm as possible because the calmer you remain, the better able you will be to cope with the aftermath.
Next, determine if you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured. If someone is in pain or becomes unconscious, do not move them if at all possible because you could risk harming him or her further. Call an ambulance immediately.
If you are not seriously injured, and you have ensured the safety of others as best you can, you should notify the police. You will have an official record to protect yourself from lawsuits that may arise.
Additionally, you should get the names and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. Write down license plate numbers, and years, models, and makes of each vehicle. Obtain all insurance information. Although you should remain polite, do not apologize for anything because that could be an admission of legal liability in a future lawsuit.
You should also talk to any witnesses and gather their contact information as well as take pictures of damage to your car and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Submit an insurance claim and provide sufficient information.
Lastly, consider contacting a lawyer. He or she can help you to maximize any compensation you may receive for your injuries and/or damages and guide you through the process should a lawsuit commence.