Did you know that over six million car accidents occur each year? No one likes to picture themselves getting in an accident. Unfortunately, the reality is that you’re statistically likely to be involved in one within your lifetime.
Accidents can be traumatic and stressful situations. As such, it can be difficult to remember what you should do in the heat of the moment. So, to help you out we’ve organized this guide of steps to take after a car accident.
As long as you remain calm and follow the advice in this article, then you should have no problem dealing with insurance providers, or any potential lawsuits. Let’s get started!
Eleven Step to Take After a Car Accident
It’s easy to panic and forget what to do when you get in a car accident. Unfortunately, this can lead to some serious mistakes that will make the insurance claims and legal process incredibly difficult for you.
To help you avoid this, we’ve organized eleven steps that everything should follow after they get in an accident. Try and memorize all of them so you know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
- Stay Calm and Assess the Situation
As we mentioned before, car accidents are high-stress situations. Sometimes they can involve injuries, danger, and heightened emotion. We know that it’s easy to freak out directly after an accident.
However, if you’re able to, then staying calm in the situation makes the whole process easier and safer. After an accident occurs, survey the situation if you can. To a quick visual survey your car, the other cars, and the road.
Your goal here should be to remove yourself from immediate danger. For example, if your car is on fire, or badly damaged, then you should get out of it immediately.
If you crashed on a highway, then you should also attempt to get out of the way of other cars. Sometimes an accident can cause multiple collisions. Once you’ve determined the severity of the situation, then it’s time to check for injuries.
- Call an Ambulance If It’s Necessary
After you assess the situation you should ask everyone involved if they need medical attention. If someone says they’re hurt, or anyone is unconscious, then call 911 immediately.
Even if there are no immediate injuries, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor afterward if it was a bad crash. Many types of injuries, like whiplash and fractured bones, might not be immediately noticeable.
Concussions are also a serious concern when it comes to car accidents. If left unattended, then they can turn into serious brain damage. As such, you should look out for any potential concussion warning signs.
- Move Your Vehicle If You Can
It might seem counterintuitive to move your vehicle from the road. However, if it’s blocking the flow of traffic, then this is important. If you can, drive your vehicle to the shoulder of the road so that other cars can pass.
Advise any other vehicles to do the same. If you can’t move your vehicle, then don’t panic. Simply put on your hazard lights and weight for a towing service to move it for you. If you have road flares or warning triangles, then you can set these up as well.
- Contact the Police
Next, it’s time to contact the police. Some states only require you to call the police if someone is injured, or if a certain amount of damage is caused.
However, it’s still a good idea to call them anyway, just in case. Why?
Because police provide you with an official accident report. This is an objective record that can make the insurance claims or legal process much easier to deal with. As such, we recommend calling the police even for minor accidents, especially if there are multiple parties involved.
- Don’t Admit Responsibility
It’s important while you wait for the police to not discuss any of the details of the accident with the other drivers. It’s especially important to not place blame or guilt on yourself or the other drivers.
An admission of guilt can be dangerous for future claims processes. As such, stick to the facts and only speak with the police, medical professionals, and insurance reps. We also don’t recommend accepting cash from the guilty parties.
While this might sound appealing, there’s a good chance that it won’t cover all the damages caused by the accident.
- Document the Accident
Photos of the accident will help you immensely if you decide to pursue legal action. Try and take a picture before you move any of the vehicles so it accurately shows how the accident unfolded.
Take pictures of all the vehicles involved from multiple areas. You can also take some photos or videos of the surrounding area so you can explain exactly how the accident occurred.
- Ask the Police For a Copy of the Accident Report
Once the police officer fills out an accident report, you should ask them for a copy of it. Be polite, but persistent for a written statement. If the officer isn’t able to give you one, then you can drive to the nearest police station to get a copy.
Or, you can visit the DMV and fill out an accident report there. In addition to the police report number, we also recommend asking for the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number. This can be helpful for legal purposes later.
- Exchange Info With the Parties Involved
Before anyone leaves the scene of the accident, you must exchange vital information with anyone involved in the crash. Besides making sure the other parties are okay, this is the only communication that should occur between all of you.
So what information should you exchange? Well, legally it depends on the state where the accident occurred. Most of the time, the only insurance you need to provide your full name, insurance company, policy number, and insurance company phone number.
If the other driver insists on more information exchanged, then remain calm. Talk to the police officer and see whether or not you’re legally required to provide them with it.
- Try and Get Contact Information From Witnesses
If other drivers or passersby notice the accident, then talk to them if you can. Ideally, they’ll provide you with their contact information.
These types of witnesses can be invaluable if you ever decide to pursue legal action. In addition to the police, they can provide an objective account of what happened with the accident.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
We recommend contacting your insurance company directly after the accident occurs. This is important even if you had no responsibility for causing the accident.
The sooner you provide them with details, the more they can help. In some cases, the police officers present can even provide them with valuable information. However, there are other methods of reporting besides calling.
Many insurance providers allow you to report accidents and file a claim using a mobile app. If you don’t hear from the other driver’s insurance provider after a few days, then you should contact them and make sure the other driver reported the accident.
When talking to the other insurance provider be careful to only provide the relevant details. Don’t admit to any fault or provide them with unnecessary information.
- Contact a Lawyer If You Need One
Unfortunately, the claims process for a car accident can be anything but simple. Indeed, many insurance adjusters will attempt to pin the blame of the accident on you.
Or, they’ll try and convince you that the injuries you experienced didn’t happen from the accident. If your insurance provider, or the other driver’s insurance provider, attempts to offer you a claim that doesn’t cover your damages, then you might want to seek legal action.
However, before you do this it’s important to meet with a lawyer to decide whether or not it’s worth it to pursue legal action. They’ll advise you about the validity of your case and any evidence you have. If you want a free evaluation of your injury case from a car accident, then check out this site.
Want More Content? Keep Exploring
We hope this article helped teach the steps to take after a car accident. As you can see, there’s a lot to remember whenever you get in a car crash. Whether it’s minor or serious, it’s important to always stay calm and work through these steps.
That’s why we recommend memorizing them beforehand, just in case you’re involved in one.
After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more content you’re sure to love.