Top 7 Things to Do After an Car Accident
Auto accidents are unexpected and often chaotic. These 7 tips can help you stay calm and collected after a collision occurs.
1. Stop and Stay on the Scene
After an auto accident, it's important to stop and stay on the scene no matter how minor the collision may seem. Failure to stop could constitute a hit-and-run and criminal charges could be pursued.
2. Assess the Scene
After an auto accident, assess the situation and your surroundings to determine if there are any injuries or if any cars involved are in dangerous locations. If the accident took place in a hazardous area, consider moving your vehicle to avoid further collision; however, if someone has sustained a serious injury, wait for medical assistance to arrive.
3. Report Accident to the Police
For further assistance after an automobile accident, call 911 right away. Police will be sent to the scene to fill out an accident report and, if needed, to dispatch medical care.
When police arrive, gather the following information from the responding officers:
- Officers' names
- Officers' badge numbers
- Officers' phone number
- Police report number
This information can be helpful if future inquiries arise.
4. Take Photos
Having photo evidence after a car crash will be beneficial, especially when insurance is involved or if a lawsuit is filed. Photo evidence should include:
- Damage to all vehicles involved
- Your surroundings
- Traffic signs
- Any severe or minor injuries
5. Get Medical Attention & Track Further Treatment.
If an injury occurs during an auto accident, allow on-scene medical treatment. Paramedics will be able to care for minor injuries and determine if further treatment is needed. It's critical to keep record of any relevant medical care you receive after the collision in case litigation or insurance questions arise.
6. Exchange Information
If the police are not involved after an auto accident, it's up to you to exchange information with the other driver. This information includes the name, addresses and telephone numbers of all individuals and any bystanders. Exchange insurance information such as carrier and policy number along with the other vehicle's license plate number, make and model.
If the police file an accident report, ask for a copy so that you'll have it on hand if any disputes surface.
7. Contact an Attorney If It Wasn't Your Fault
If you were injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact an attorney right away. An attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf while you recover from your injuries. An attorney can also better guarantee that the insurance company treats you justly and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid when you win. Our free case review service can help connect you to a legal professional that will provide you with a complimentary consultation and let you know if you have a legal claim against the other driver(s).