What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
On average, the US experiences about 18,500 car accidents every day. These accidents lead to almost 4,000 deaths per day. Every year, over 20 million people are injured in car accidents.
According to statistics, the average person is likely to get into an accident once every 17 years. Nobody expects to get in a car accident, but if it has happened to you, there are certain steps you need to take right after the accident.
This article will cover seven steps you need to take after a car accident.
1. Determine Whether Anyone Has Sustained Injuries
After a car accident, it’s important to determine whether you or any passengers have sustained injuries.
Do not assume that everything will be okay if no one seems hurt after the crash. Even in a relatively minor car accident, people can still suffer from whiplash and other aches and pains that don’t present themselves until several hours later.
It’s also best to get checked out in case there are internal injuries that aren’t readily apparent but need immediate medical attention. Call 911 for an ambulance in case of a major car accident with severe injuries or fatalities so everyone can be taken care of immediately.
2. Move Your Vehicle Out of Harm’s Way
After a car accident, don’t leave the scene. Even if there doesn’t appear to be any damage or injuries immediately after an accident, you could still get cited for leaving the accident site, and it’s best not to take that risk. To avoid putting yourself in harm’s way, make sure your vehicle is properly pulled over before doing anything else.
If the accident was minor and there is no damage to either car, you can move your vehicle out of the way if it’s causing a traffic jam. Be sure to put on your hazard lights and place some cones or flares around the car to warn other drivers. This will also prevent any more accidents from oncoming cars.
3. Call the Police
Once you’re safe, it’s imperative to call the police and have them document what happened. This is especially crucial if there are any injuries or damage to either car. The police report will be very helpful when it comes time to file an insurance claim.
Even in a minor car accident, it’s still a good idea to call the police and have them come take a look. They might be able to clear up any confusion about who was at fault, and they can also help direct traffic around your vehicle until it’s towed or moved. In some states, it’s mandatory to call the police, regardless of the state of the accident.
4. Collect Important Information From the Other Driver
In order to file an insurance claim, you’ll need to have some information from the other driver. Make sure to get their name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and insurance information. Get information on the car as well, including model, make, color, license plate, and vehicle identification number.
If they’re driving a company car, be sure to get the name of their employer. If there are any witnesses to the accident, it’s important to get their contact information as well. They might be able to provide helpful testimonies later on if it becomes necessary to take legal action.
5. Document the Scene of the Accident
Once it’s safe to do so, document the scene of the accident. Take pictures or videos if possible, and use your phone to record any damage done to either vehicle.
Also, be sure not to leave anything behind at the scene that might have been damaged in an accident. This can include anything from a broken headlight to a cracked windshield.
Dictate everything that happened on your voice app while everything is still fresh in your mind. You can use this information later on if you start to forget the details of the accident. If there are any skid marks or debris at the scene, be sure to document that as well.
This information can help investigators determine what happened during the car accident. It’s also crucial to get the contact information of the police officer who responded to the accident. This way, if you have any questions, you’ll be able to reach out to them for answers.
6. Avoid Discussing Responsibility with the Other Party
It’s important not to discuss responsibility with the other party at the scene of an accident. Even if you think you know who was at fault, it’s best to wait until all the information has been collected before making any decisions. Things can change very quickly after an accident, and it’s better to protect your interests than have regrets later on.
If the other driver is trying to force you into admitting fault, don’t fall for it. Politely tell them that you are processing what happened and need time to investigate before making any statements. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to hire a professional car accident lawyer to help you get compensation for your injuries.
7. Call the Insurance Company
If you have your insurance card in your car, be sure to call the insurance company and let them know that you have been in a car accident. They’ll send a representative out as quickly as possible so they can start processing your claim and begin handling any repairs or replacements that your car needs.
The sooner you call the insurance company, the sooner they can start working on your claim. This means that you’ll have less paperwork to deal with, and you won’t have to wait as long for the repairs to be completed.
It’s also important to remember that you should never admit fault to an insurance company. Even if it seems like you’re at fault, let the company investigate before making any statements. They might end up ruling in your favor and awarding you damages for what happened.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a crash, these are some of the most important steps to take after a car accident. Seeing a doctor, calling the police, and documenting the accident scene are crucial for your car accident claim. If you’re in a position to do so, talking to witnesses and calling the insurance company is just as essential.
If you need a car accident lawyer to prove your case, please contact the legal team at Alpha Accident Lawyers, we’ll be more than glad to represent you.