February 17, 2015
What to Do if You Get in a Car Accident in Oklahoma
Whether you’re driving a brand-new car or a used car, you never want to get in a car accident. However, accidents do happen. Even safe drivers can find themselves in a car accident – we can’t control what other drivers do and we can’t change the weather. No matter how carefully you drive or how safe your car is, it pays to know what to do in a car accident so you can handle the situation and avoid further problems.
When you get in a car accident, the single most important thing for you to do is to stay at the scene of the accident until the police tell you to leave. While it seems like common sense, this can actually be difficult for many people. It’s tempting to try to escape from an accident, especially if you’re worried about the costs of repairs or if your car was the only one involved. That said, leaving the scene almost always makes the situation worse. You can get into serious legal trouble for hit-and-run accidents, and you can also have problems with your insurance if you don’t have a police report or other evidence to back up your claim. Regardless of how hard it may be for you, you should always stay at or near the scene of the accident for as long as possible.
Deal with Medical Emergencies First
Car accidents don’t always lead to injuries, and most of the time people involved in accidents don’t require any immediate medical attention. However, a severe accident could result in severe injuries which should always be handled before anything else. If you’re injured in an accident or you think the other driver may be, you should call 911 right away. Don’t rely on bystanders or other drivers to do it for you – most people, when they aren’t involved in a situation directly, won’t do anything. Instead, take action yourself and do your best to handle the emergency before help arrives.
Assuming the accident isn’t too bad, you and the other driver (or drivers) will probably get out and assess the damage yourselves. This is a good opportunity for you and anyone else involved in the accident to exchange information. After an accident, you should be sure to collect the names, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information for anyone else involved, as well as giving them your own. You should also get their insurance information, or ask for a copy of their insurance card.
In addition to information from other drivers, you should also get the information for responding police officers any any witnesses or other people at the scene. This will help if your case goes to court or if you need to corroborate your account with someone else’s. Getting police officer info, like a badge number or the number of the accident report, will help when dealing with your insurance as well.
If your accident ends up being a court case or if you have a dispute with your insurance company, it always helps to have evidence of your accident at your disposal. Along with getting a copy of the police report, you should take pictures of the scene of the accident to document the entire event. This includes pictures of the damage to your car and the other car, any road conditions or other problems that you believe contributed to the accident, and pictures of any injuries or secondary damages that occurred as a result of the accident.
File an Insurance Report
After the accident, it’s vital that you file as accurate and complete a report as possible, even if it shows that you were at fault in the accident. The more evidence and other information you can provide, the better off you’ll be in the end. Be honest and accurate about what happened and what you know or don’t know. Lying or providing inaccurate or incomplete information can delay your claim, make it harder to get the accident resolved, or result in other problems.
Get Seen by a Doctor
Even in a minor accident you can experience injuries and muscle and tissue damage. It’s always worth going in for a checkup after getting in an accident, if only to make sure nothing is seriously wrong. You’ll probably have some soreness or other problems for a few days or weeks after getting in a car accident, but more severe or acute pain can signal other problems. Whiplash, ligament injuries, and muscle strains are all very common in car accident victims, so be sure to visit a doctor and take care of yourself as much as possible.
Find a New Car
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to get your car repaired after an accident. However, many of us aren’t so lucky. In that case you’ll need a place to find another quality car to replace the one you lost. At The KEY, we have hundreds of great used cars at our Oklahoma City car lot just waiting for you to choose from. You can even get pre-approved on our website in less than two minutes and browse our entire used car inventory online! You can also visit our Facebook and Google+ pages to learn more about our cars and programs.