Every year, 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal car accident injuries, and many more lose their lives. Car accidents aren’t something to take lightly, so you need to know what to do after you experience one.
Experiencing a car accident can be difficult for many reasons. In addition to experiencing vehicle damage, you’ll also need to deal with insurance companies and may need to seek compensation for any injuries you sustained.
Fortunately, taking the right steps after a car crash can make the entire process easier. Read on to find out what you should do immediately after a car accident.
1. Check for Any Injuries
The very first thing that you should do after a car accident is to check for injuries. Be sure that you check yourself as well as your passengers for injuries.
If you have any injuries, you’ll want to call for emergency assistance immediately to ensure that you, your passengers, and the other driver can get help.
If you or your passengers have been seriously hurt, don’t move unless it’s absolutely necessary. Simply wait for emergency services to arrive.
2. Get Off the Road
Keep in mind that if your car could be a hazard where it’s located, you should pull over to the side of the road or elsewhere out of harm’s way.
If your car is drivable, ensure that you get your vehicle out of the road and the path of other vehicles. This will help prevent any further injuries from occurring to you or to anybody else on the road.
3. Call the Police
After an accident, it’s important to call the police so that they can come to the scene and fill out an accident report. You should do this whether you had a minor or major accident.
Police will help to document the details of an accident accurately and can help gather any information that will help in case there are legal challenges later on.
4. Don’t Claim Fault
Remember that it’s very important what you say after an accident occurs.
You should avoid speaking with anybody except for the police after the accident. It’s especially important that you don’t claim fault for the accident or cast blame on anybody else. It’s better to speak to an attorney first so that you can approach the accident in the best way possible.
If you claim fault for an accident, it could make things more difficult later on, even if the accident wasn’t actually your fault.
5. Stay Put
Remember that after you have a car accident, you need to stay put. Don’t leave the scene of your car accident but remain in place until emergency services and the police arrive.
Unless you need to be taken to the hospital for medical care, you should stay at the scene of the accident until everyone has left, including the other driver and the police.
6. Exchange Contact Information
After an accident, you should make sure to get the contact information of the other driver.
This should include their full name, their insurance company and policy number, and their driver’s license and license plate number. You should also document the model of their vehicle and its color as well.
7. Gather Documentation
In addition to getting information about the other driver, you should also gather other types of information as well.
Remember to get the names and contact information of anyone else that was at the scene of the accident, including the police officers, the witnesses, and the passengers. You should also write down your experience as accurately as possible and should include details about your injuries.
Additionally, you’ll want to talk to police officers to find out how to get a copy of the accident report.
8. Take Photographs
In addition to gathering plenty of information regarding your accident, you’ll also want to take some photographs of the car accident scene as well.
Make sure that you take photos of your vehicle as well as the other vehicle. Ensure that you have clear visual documentation of what damage actually occurred during the accident.
Additionally, you’ll also want to photograph the license plates of any vehicles that were a part of the accident as well.
9. Speak to Your Insurer
You should also notify your insurer about the accident and start the process of filing a claim.
Your insurance company can help you understand what they’ll need from you as part of the claims process. They can also help with other things as well. For example, they can guide you to a certified body shop that can perform any repairs that are needed.
10. Hire a Lawyer
If you want to have the easiest time possible after getting into a car accident, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced car accident attorney.
Doing so will allow you to get assistance throughout the process of dealing with insurance companies and other parties that are involved. An attorney can help if the other party claims that the accident was your fault when it wasn’t. They can also help negotiate with insurance companies to get compensation if you were injured in a car accident.
There’s a lot that a lawyer can do for you, so consider hiring one if you need help getting car accident compensation.
Understanding What to Do After a Car Crash
If you’ve been in a car crash, you can make things easier on yourself.
Be sure to follow the steps above after you’ve been in an accident. Call the police, seek medical assistance, gather documentation, and hire a lawyer if you want things to go smoothly after your accident is over.
Need advice after a car accident? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.