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As a motorist, finding yourself as the victim of a car or motorcycle accident is never where you imagine yourself. It happens quickly as one minute you are driving along completely in charge of the road while the next minute, you are sitting there in your vehicle potentially looking at injuries and a car that is most likely, in serious need of repairs because you lost control. While it may be easy to panic when you find yourself involved in an accident, keeping a clear head and following the right precautions is an important part of making it through the accident with the least amount of stress.

If you are involved in an accident it is important to follow certain steps, which is why it is helpful to have a car/motorcycle accident checklist.

Accident Checklist

Use Your Best Judgment and Move to a Safe Spot

If it is possible and your car hasn’t been severely damaged to the point of where it is leaking fluid and/or smoking, safely pull over and into the shoulder of the road. Many times, the biggest mistake that accident victims make is leaving their car in the middle of the road or wherever the accident occurred. While panic may set in during the accident and cause you to forget this very important step, moving the vehicle to the safest spot possible is important for everyone’s safety. While moving your vehicle, you will also want to activate your hazard lights to notify motorists that your car is immobile. If you are unable to move the vehicle due to the amount of damage, vacate the automobile and be sure to stand in a safe location that is away from ongoing traffic.

Contact Authorities

After impact, you will want to make sure the authorities are contacted immediately. Sometimes, the motorist at fault will simply leave the scene of the accident to avoid getting in trouble, or will attempt to convince you not to call the authorities. Don’t fall for this because having police officers come to the scene is a necessary step. The police officers responding to the scene will mediate the discussion, write up a report and if necessary, take photographs or draw photos to document where each vehicle ended up after the accident. They will also collect copies of necessary documents including your driver’s license, registration and insurance card.

Insurance Claim

If you are found not to be at fault for the accident, you will be able to claim the damage sustained in the accident directly through your insurance company. Your insurance company will also require copies of the accident report filed by the police department, which is why contacting the authorities is a vital step following an accident. You will also want to have photographs chronicling the damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you have sustained serious injuries as a result of the vehicular accident, having copies of documents from each of your doctor, hospital or emergency room visits will be important to prove your claim.

Finding yourself involved in a car or motorcycle accident is never a pleasant situation, but knowing the steps to take in order to properly protect yourself and your assets is crucial. By following a car/motorcycle accident checklist like the one above, you will clearly follow what needs to be done every step of the way. This will allow the process to run as smoothly as possible.

With the assistance of Sarah Smith, this helpful checklist is brought to you by the Auto Accident Lawyers at Gibbons Legal, P.C.