Travelling with Kids: 8 Things a Mom Should Do After a Car Accident
While we all try our best to avoid them, it is highly likely that you will have to deal with the aftermath of a fender bender at some point in your life. We are never fully expecting them to happen, but when they do, there are several important things you should remember to do in order to feel more prepared, especially when traveling with young children. Most of these accidents happen while you are driving at a low speed. They happen very quickly, and can completely catch both parties involved off-guard. Although very little damage typically happens as a result, they are still accidents that need to be dealt with.
In general, fender benders typically happen as a result of several incidents. These include:
when you are backing up, whether it be in a driveway or from a parking spot
weather conditions cause you to become unable to stop your car
are driving too fast in certain areas, such as in a parking lot
fall asleep at the wheel
If you find yourself involved in a fender bender, there are 8 things you should remember to do to be fully prepared to handle the situation.
In this type of situation, it is easy to become quickly rattled and unsure of what to do next, or find yourself angry at the person who caused the accident. One way to calm yourself down is to take slow, deep breaths. Calming yourself down will ensure you are more capable of handling the situation and obtaining all the information you need.
Make Sure Everyone is Okay
Just as when you are on a plane, make sure you are free from all injuries before checking the other passengers in the car. This can be especially hard to remember to do when you are traveling with young children, as it may be your first instinct to be sure they are okay. However, depending on how badly you are injured you may not be able to help them. If you do find any injuries, be sure to call 911.
Call the Police
Obtaining a police report recording the incident is always important, and is something most insurance companies will ask for when dealing with your claim. This will also protect you in the event that the other driver involved tries to say that you were the person at fault for the accident. Sometimes, even when an accident is not your fault, the other party involved in the accident will try to claim that they are not the one at fault for what happened. At this point, it may be time to ask a car accident lawyer for advice. It is important in these instances to contact an experienced lawyer who can help you and protect you from anyone potentially trying to sue you. Even if no one has sued you yet, it may be a good idea to discuss the accident with a lawyer so that you are aware of your options before a situation begins.
Make Sure The Area is Safe
Look around you outside your car in order to be sure it is okay for you and your passengers to stay in the car. It may be necessary to move the vehicle to the side of the road but it is suggested to keep the car where it is until the police are able to arrive.
You will want to have photographic proof of any damage to your car, as well as proof of the placement of your vehicle after the accident in order to show without a doubt what happened as a result of the accident. This can easily be done with your smartphone, although if you do not have one it is a smart idea to keep a camera in your glove box.
Talk to the Other Party Involved and Find Witnesses
You will want to be sure to talk to the driver of the other car involved in the accident and collect their information. This includes their full name, phone number, and all of their insurance information. Expect that they will ask the same of you, even if you do not believe you are at fault. It is a good idea to also write down the license plate of the other car and a small description of it, including the make, model and color.
In addition to talking to the other driver, if you can find any eye witnesses to the event try to talk to them as well. They may be able to support your claim later on if you are not at fault for the accident. Be sure to collect their information, such as full name and phone number, so that you will be able to locate them later on when you need them. The police or your insurance company may also request their information so that they can talk to them as well.
Put In A Claim
Speaking of your insurance company, you will need to contact them as soon as possible in order to place a claim. Whether you are at fault or not, your insurance company will need to be aware of the situation so that they can help you to properly handle it.
Whether or not you or the other passengers in your car appeared to be hurt in an accident, it is a good idea to continue to watch for any injuries that could appear later on. Soft-tissue damage could take multiple days to appear, so be sure to examine your own body, as well as the bodies of your children, for several days after the accident to ensure that everyone is truly okay. If anyone complains of any sort of pain or feels at all off balance, you should contact your family doctor immediately.
You never know when or where an accident could happen. Being fully prepared to handle one could help you to remain calm should you find yourself at the center of one. There are several things you can do beforehand that will help you to feel prepared, should you get into a fender bender.
Place a safety kit in your car
Have all of your important documents at the ready in your glove box or other easily accessible area
Make sure your phone is charged and on you when you get in a car
Keep any loose items in your center console or glove box rather than on the seat next to you. This will ensure they will stay contained at the point of impact.