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How to Stay Calm after a Car Accident

by Amy Walters

A sickening thud, metallic scrape, and the knot in the pit of your stomach–you’ve just been in a car accident. The first few thoughts are for yourself: “Do I hurt anywhere?” “Am I bleeding?” The next thoughts are for the others involved: “Are they injured?” Perhaps you hear honking horns or yelling bystanders. If you are at fault for the accident, you feel instantly anxious and perhaps afraid, especially if the other driver is angry. If you are the victim, you are probably shaken and have difficulty getting words out. It may be hard to think clearly.

It is important to know how to stay calm after a car accident, because several critical steps need to be taken right away.

Call Emergency Personnel

First, take some deep breaths. If medical help is needed for yourself or anyone else, secure that first by calling emergency personnel or asking a bystander to do it.

Move Vehicles

If possible, move vehicles out of the way of thru traffic. Place flares or traffic cones to warn oncoming drivers to slow.

Identify the participants in the accident

Is there just one other driver, or are other cars involved? Exchange information about each person’s auto insurance. Determine whether each driver is the registered owner of the car; if not, ask what his/her relationship is to the owner. Write down the make, model and license plate of each car. Note conditions such as weather, lighting, road signs, traffic signals, and approximate speed of the involved vehicles.

Do NOT verbalize any responsibility for the accident

Even if you are sure it is your fault, don’t claim fault. An at-fault accident can increase your insurance premiums exorbitantly, so it is best to let the claims investigators determine the cause of the accident. You may not be aware of another driver’s culpability, or traffic conditions that may be found to have contributed to the accident despite your actions.

Call your Insurance Provider

Call your car insurance provider right away, from the scene of the accident if possible, and inform them of the accident. If you have a personal injury attorney, call him/her as well. You may not think you are injured, but pain can be masked by the adrenaline coursing through your body only to appear hours later.

So, after an accident take a deep breath, attend to any pressing medical needs, and gather necessary information. Make those first critical phone calls and let the professionals take things from there.

Author Bio

Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer that is currently promoting a Utah car accident attorney. She usually blogs about personal health issues. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her husband.


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