10 Things to Do After a Car Accident
Let’s be real.
Car accidents are going to happen; even simple fender benders are a fact of life. With around six million collisions happening a day, it’s important to prepare yourself in case you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. That’s where this guide comes in.
We’ll explore the ten things you should do after getting in a car accident. If you remain calm and follow these steps, you’ll be able to think clearly and minimize stress during tense circumstances.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. Check if Anyone Is Hurt
You never want to leave the scene of an accident. Dealing with a hit and run is extremely stressful, time-consuming and should be avoided if possible. If no one leaves the scene, your first priority is to check that everyone is safe.
Any concerning injuries need to be addressed immediately by getting medical assistance.
2. Get the Vehicle Out of Danger
Now you’ll need to pull your car over to a well-lit, safe place nearby. Ideally, it’s public so others can see you and the other driver. This is particularly true if you were hit from behind and think you were the victim of a staged accident.
You don’t want your car to become a road hazard; this can cause other car accidents. Stay calm and use emergency flashers to alert other cars on the road. You might be feeling disoriented after a car accident but remember it’s important to have an after-accident plan.
If you’re unable to move your car, you and other passengers need to find a safe distance away from the collision.
3. Call the Police
There are different methods of alerting police using your cellphone. Be sure to look up specifically what the codes are for your state, so you’re reporting a vehicle collision to the right number.
If you don’t know exactly where you are, you can get someone nearby to give you the location. Prepare to provide the street name, city, and house number you’re closest to.
It may not always be necessary to call the police, but in some states, it’s required. If your collision occurs out of state, it’s better to call 911 directly.
A police report is crucial for documenting an accident in case another driver sues you.
4. Gather Important Information
Take photos of any documents, of your vehicle, the location, and anything else that could be important. This is especially helpful if you plan on hiring a car accident lawyer. Be sure to get the name, phone number, address, and driver’s license of everyone involved in the accident.
Gather all of the vehicle information you can, including the make, model, year, color, and license plate number. Ask the others involved for their insurance policy number and the company’s phone number. You can even ask any witnesses to provide you with contact information and details about what they saw.
5. Document the Scene
In addition to gathering important information, you’ll want to record as much detail about the accident as possible. You can use your phone’s camera or the voice memo features.
Check to see how damaged your car is, take notes and photos. Record the date and time of the accident and photograph the entire scene. This includes property damage or even skid marks.
One thing that tends to get missed is the position of the cars relative to the street. This helps re-create the accident when you report a claim.
6. Talking to the Other Driver
It’s appropriate to engage in small talk with the other driver as you wait for the police, but you’ll want to determine that it’s safe talking to them without police help. Any sign of road rage from the other driver is a red flag, and you’ll want to be extra cautious.
Avoid making admissions or expressing anger. Play it safe because anything can be used against you if the situation escalates.
7. Call a Tow Truck if Necessary
Your car may need to be towed to a collision repair center, depending on how much damage is caused. The police might call a tow truck company, and your car may offer driver assistance programs too. Be sure to verify any tow truck that shows up at the crash by taking down contact information.
8. Contact Insurance Provider
It may be tempting to negotiate with the other driver to avoid dealing with insurance, but car insurance notification is crucial. Otherwise, you might be left liable for damages stemming from the accident. This is when police reports come in handy, especially when it is clearly not your fault.
9. Speak to Your Doctor
Even if you feel fine after an accident, there may be some injures that only become apparent after a couple of days. Whiplash could cause serious head or spinal injures. Be sure to visit your doctor if you experience unusual symptoms or pain.
10. Be Proactive
You’re already taking the most important step, being proactive. It’s easier to handle an accident when you’re prepared. Download your insurance company’s apps or forms that help you through the claim process.
Keep important documents in your car, any key things that you need to remember at the scene of an accident. These steps don’t come naturally to people, but they are a huge help when you need them.
What to Do After a Car Accident
There are many reasons why a car accident might occur, whether it is or isn’t your fault. It could be distracted driving or a new driver that took the wrong turn. Anything can happen and collisions are dangerous so you’ll need to know what steps to take after one occurs.
It’s important to remain as calm as possible; significant stress can cloud your judgment and make things more difficult than necessary. Knowing these steps will help you feel prepared and informed to deal with the situation with a clear head.
If you or a loved one need help managing an injury, you’ll need to contact Complete Injury Management. We’ll help you feel like your old self in no time.