Being involved in a car accident can be scary and overwhelming. Following the initial shock, it’s important to know what to do. The situation may be frightening, but by following a few easy steps, you can get through the situation quickly and get what you deserve.
Following a car crash, there are many actions you need to take immediately: calling the police, getting medical attention if needed, exchanging information with the other driver or their insurance company, and documenting the incident.
These tasks may seem overwhelming in the moment, but with preparation, they will become valuable should you ever find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
Call the Police Immediately
The first step after a car accident is to call the police. In many states, it’s mandatory to report car accidents involving injuries or damage to property. Calling the police will also help set a tone of official action and evidence. Should things go south during the claims process, having a police report can help turn things in your favor.
The police will also be there to keep tempers down and safe. You don’t know the other driver or their tendencies. Even a normally calm person may react poorly to an accident and cause a scene. Heck, you may be the one who needs to be kept in check. Having the police there will make sure things don’t get out of control.
Exchange Info and Get Help From Your Insurance Company
The next step is to exchange information with the other driver. You may see this referred to as “getting their insurance information.” While you should still report the accident to the police, you should also give the other driver your information. Make sure you get their name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate, and insurance company.
Next, be sure to get help from your insurance company. You may need to give your insurance information to the other driver or their insurance company. If you have health insurance, it’s also a good idea to let them know about the accident.
After you call the police and exchange information with the other driver, document everything. This includes taking photos of the scene. This could be damage to your car, injuries, and the other driver’s car. If there are witnesses, ask for their information.
It is also wise to have photos taken of how your vehicle currently looks. If the other driver claims that your car already had a dent in a door, having a photo of the car in good condition only weeks before will work in your favor.
Witnesses may be helpful in proving who is at fault for the accident. If there are any injuries, paramedics will document this. However, it also helps to take photos of any injuries you sustained in the accident. This can help you get the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.
If there are still issues with filing or receiving a claim after all of this documentation, it is time to hire an attorney. An attorney will know how to deal with the insurance agency, ensure you are filing the claims you should, and advise you on taking additional actions.
Take Care of Yourself
After a car accident, it is important to take care of yourself. This can be difficult when you are in the immediate aftermath and the adrenaline of what happened hasn’t worn off yet. However, it’s crucial that you take a second to evaluate everything and take care of yourself. If you are hurt, seek medical attention.
Having a first aid kit in the vehicle can also be helpful. Especially if the accident happens out in the countryside, having basic necessities to take care of yourself is vital. It also may be a case where you don’t need emergency services, but need to wrap up a wound until proper treatment can be done at home.
By getting the police involved, exchanging information, documenting everything, and taking care of yourself, you can be confident that you will be taken care of in the moments following an accident, and later down the road when filing a claim.