What to Do After an Auto Accident

Car accidents can be an extremely traumatic experience for all involved in the accident. While some accidents are minor inconveniences, others can be severe and life-changing.

In the moments directly after a car accident, it can be challenging to figure out which steps to take next.

To ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe and receive proper compensation from your insurance company, it is vital to know what to do after an accident.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Immediately after an accident, thinking clearly and staying calm are important. Having a clear head will help you to gather all the information necessary to file a claim.

1. Stop and Check for Injuries

Stay on the accident scene after a crash occurs. Fleeing the scene of the accident is illegal in most areas and can make matters worse for you later on.

By fleeing the scene, police may assume you admit fault for the accident. Not staying to gather an accurate accident report can make it tricky to continue with the claims process.

Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road or somewhere out of harm’s way. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the vehicle accident. From here, analyze the scene and assess your safety.

Check yourself and any other passengers for injuries. If you are able, check the other driver for injuries also. If you or anyone in the vehicles involved needs medical treatment, call 911.

2. Call the Police

Even if you have been involved in a minor collision, it is crucial to call the police after an accident occurs. When police respond, they will help manage traffic, write a police report, and maintain the safety of you and the other driver involved.

After the police arrive, be cooperative as they file the police report. It can be helpful to document the police report number and the police officer’s name and badge number for your records.

If your or other drivers involved have suffered from injuries, be sure to call the police and an ambulance.

3. Exchange Information

After calling the police, you will want to exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver to pursue an auto insurance claim.

Take pictures of the other driver’s insurance card. Knowing the other’s driver’s car insurance company will help with the claims process.

After documenting the other driver’s insurer, take note of the license plate numbers and driver’s license numbers of the other driver.

Avoid arguing with the other party. If you and the other driver cannot communicate calmly, remain in your vehicle and wait for a police officer to arrive.

4. Describe the Car Crash to the Police

When the police arrive, describe in detail how the accident occurred. You must only provide the police with facts about the accident.

Do not speculate or stretch the truth. Providing the police with factual information will help them to develop an accurate police report, which you may need to file a claim.

5. Document the Scene of the Accident

While a police report can help legitimize your case, you should collect your own information. Take pictures of the automobile accident, including photos of the vehicles involved, property damage, and skid marks. Take pictures from multiple angles to gather a more detailed view of the scene.

Take note of essential accident details like the date/time of the accident, car insurance information, driver’s license information, vehicle plate numbers, police report number, and the name and badge number of the police officer at the scene.

If your car has vehicle damage, document any tow truck or repair shop costs or any other expenses incurred from the vehicle damage.

You want to paint a complete picture of the accident so that there is no gray area when you file a claim with insurance companies.

6. Report the Accident

Report the accident to your car insurance company as soon as possible. When talking to an auto insurance professional, be general and only elaborate when needed.

It is important to stick to the facts, as oversharing with insurance companies can hinder your ability to collect compensation.

7. Seek Medical Attention

Between the initial shock and lingering adrenaline from the car accident, you likely won’t feel the full extent of your injuries immediately. Serious injuries like those of the brain, neck, and spinal cord can take days to reveal themselves.

Even if you feel somewhat okay, it’s better to be safe than sorry and seek medical attention. Take note of any medical expenses you acquire due to the vehicle accident. Hold on to medical bills, as these can be used as evidence in insurance claims.

8. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Receiving fair compensation from an insurance company can be tricky. The insurance company will aim to pay you as little as possible. Insurance adjusters may use their expertise to their advantage when dealing with a car accident victim.

Having a car accident attorney on your side will give you the upper hand against your insurance company. Many insurers will offer higher settlements to car accident victims backed by an attorney.

An experienced accident attorney can assess your insurance policy limits, guide you through the claim process, and fight for maximum compensation.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

While some accidents may not require the help of a lawyer, even a minor fender bender can lead to significant damage and injury.

Working with a car accident lawyer can help maximize your compensation and ease post-crash stress.

It is best to consult with a trustworthy car accident attorney to assess your case and get the compensation you deserve.

Author: Brandon Park