If you are in a car accident, what you do next is crucial. No matter how safely you drive, accidents happen. While we can’t completely shield ourselves from the chance of being involved in an accident, we can be prepared and know what to do after an accident.
Get to Safety
After an accident, it should be your top priority to ensure that you and everyone in your vehicle are safe. If there are no serious injuries, move out of the roadway. If an accident leaves you in the middle of a road or in the way of other traffic, move to the side of the road or some other nearby safe place. While it is important to preserve the evidence from the crash, your life is far more important.
Help the Injured
If anyone involved in the collision needs medical attention, call 911 immediately, and provide any assistance you can in the meantime.
Call the Police
If you don’t call 911 because there are no injuries, you still need to call the police so there is a report of the collision. Even if the crash seems minor, many people do not realize the full extent of their injuries for a few days. By reporting the accident to the police, there will be an official record of what happened. This report is incredibly useful when filing an insurance claim later.
Always be sure to exchange information with the driver of other vehicles involved. Smartphones make it quick and easy to snap a photograph of other drivers’ insurance cards and driver’s licenses. If there were any witnesses to the collision, obtain their names and contact information as well.
When talking to other people involved in the crash, especially other drivers, it’s a good idea to limit your conversation to the exchange of crucial information. Rather than discussing fault or the circumstances that may have caused the collision, limit what you say to obtaining basic information.
Take Photos of the Crash
Photographs of property damage and injuries are important. Take photos of damage to all vehicles involved, as well as photos of the overall scene, including weather conditions, any marks or debris on the pavement, obstacles any vehicles struck, broken signs or traffic signals, and so on. When you are well enough to do so, take photos documenting your injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve spoken to the police, call your insurance company to report the accident.
See Your Doctor
If you are injured – even if you do not go to the emergency room from the scene – make an appointment to see your doctor after a car accident. The full extent of car accident injuries are often not apparent immediately. It’s common for people to begin experiencing pain and soreness a few days after a collision.
Our car accident attorneys can help you with everything from filing an insurance claim to pursuing legal action against the other driver. We can provide you with the legal help you need so that you can focus on healing after your accident.