Whenever anyone gets behind the wheel of an automobile, he or she is at risk for an accident. Fortunately, the vast majority of collisions are minor fender benders that are more inconveniences than serious concerns. However, this does not mean they are not frightening and stressful experiences to those involved who may not be accustomed to handling a traffic collision. There are a few steps everyone can take in these situations to make sure the incident is handled properly to reduce problems down the road.
The most important thing to do is to take a deep breath and try to stay calm. While accidents are no doubt upsetting, keeping a cool head will allow you to better navigate the stress. It does not help to let tempers get involved as blaming and arguing can only exacerbate an already tense situation.
Next, call the police. This may seem counterintuitive to many people’s instincts who fear being cited as at fault in the accident. However, police officers serve as instrumental role in providing an unbiased account of the accident through their police report. This document will come in handy should the incident escalate to an insurance claim or a legal case.
Remember to exchange information with the other driver. This includes your names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance information. Even in a minor accident where you do not expect to file a claim, it does not hurt to have this information on hand should you later discover damage from the accident.
Finally, you should contact a car accident attorney following the crash to help you find out if you may need to pursue compensation. If this is the case, meet with a skilled southern California personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.