Getting into a car accident can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what to do when involved in a crash, making it hard to navigate the claims process afterward.
Awareness of what to do immediately after a car accident can make a big difference in your claim and in ensuring the most favorable results. If you or anyone you know is ever involved in a car crash, here are the steps you should take following the incident.
Check on Yourself and Your Passengers
Your safety should always be your top priority. After a crash, check to see if you or anyone in the car with you is hurt. You should also check on the other driver and their passengers. If anyone needs medical assistance, call for help immediately.
Move to a Safer Location
Suppose you can move your car to a safer location near the crash scene. Pulling over to the side of the road will remove obstructions that can impede traffic and cause further accidents. Set up emergency warning devices around your vehicle to alert upcoming traffic of the roadblock.
If you are badly injured, or your car doesn’t seem safe to drive, leave it where it is and make your way to a safer spot.
Call the Police
If the crash is significant enough to warrant police intervention, call 911 immediately. They can help you gather evidence and file an official report that will be indispensable down the line. Police officers can also help protect the scene and redirect approaching traffic.
Ensure you get the police officer’s information, including their name, badge number, and contact details. Also, get a copy of the police report for your insurance claim.
Collect Information Relative to the Accident
The evidence you can gather from the accident scene will benefit your lawyer in building your case and making your claim. Jot down the details of the accident and the vehicles involved, as well as of any potential witnesses, including:
● The other driver’s name, address, contact details, and driver’s license number
● The other vehicle’s year, make, model, license plate number, and vehicle identification number
● The other driver’s insurance provider and their insurance policy number
● The date and time of the accident
● Weather and visibility conditions
● How the accident happened
● Witnesses’ names and contact information
Document the Accident
You’ll also want to document the accident scene by taking photos of the collision from all angles. Get shots of the following:
● The entire scene of the accident
● The impact on the car
● Close-up photos of the damages
● Any property damage and skid marks
● The position of the cars relative to the street
These photos will help you recreate the accident and determine who was at fault.
Notify Your Insurance Provider
Call your insurance provider to alert them of the crash as soon as you can after the accident. Inform them that you will be filing a claim as well. However, be careful about sharing details with your insurance provider, and don’t agree to make any official statement about the crash.
Anything you say may be used against you to negate your claim. So wait until you can speak to an attorney before sharing the details with your insurance provider.
Consult Your Car Accident Attorney
After a car accident, there are specific steps that you have to take to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Negotiating with your insurance provider is going to be difficult as they will try to pin fault on you to avoid paying the damages. Your car accident lawyer can help you navigate the ins and outs of making a claim and protect your rights as you go about the process.
Go for a Doctor’s Checkup
The impact of a car accident may not be immediately evident after the crash. It may take a couple of days to feel your injuries' symptoms. So make sure you go for a doctor’s checkup to confirm that you are okay.