Car accidents of all types happen every day. While this is an upsetting event, you have to remain calm and level-headed to get through the aftermath. Here are some things you should know about reacting to a car accident.

What Should You Do After the Accident?

Right after an accident, you need to move to a safe area, especially if the area is busy with traffic. If your car is still drivable, try to move it to a safer area nearby so no one else hits it. Once you are safe, check over your body to see if you have any visible injuries. You may also want to check on the other driver. If anyone involved in the accident cannot move, do not force them to do so. Just stay nearby until help arrives.

You also need to call the police, no matter how minor the accident appears to be. You need the police report for use later.

Also, take some pictures and video with your smartphone. Get images of the crash scene, the nearest road signs, and any skid marks on the pavement. This can be useful in determining liability. Be sure to document the broken debris on the ground and the license plates of all the vehicles involved in the accident.

Why Should You Report the Accident?

For even minor accidents, you still need the police report for documentation. Even if one party to the accident does not want to do so, you should call the police anyway. Another driver may not want to report the accident for a number of reasons. Maybe the driver does not want the accident on their insurance policy or perhaps they are driving with a suspended license. No matter what, you need to report the accident to protect your own interests.

You also need the report if you have injuries that may appear later. Not all injuries are apparent immediately after a car accident. Your body is in overdrive at that point, so you may not notice any pain right away. If your car was hit and the liability is on the other driver, your injuries will be paid by their insurance. If you do not have the police report, you cannot prove the accident ever happened. The other driver could essentially deny the accident and you can be on the hook for all your damages.

For more information, contact a local auto accident attorney.