The seconds after a car accident are filled with adrenaline, fear, confusion and uncertainty. As a result, many people are in somewhat of a shock after such an event. While this is of course understandable and normal, you must collect your thoughts and accomplish certain tasks after an accident. This is especially true if it wasn’t your fault. To not complete them can create many problems in the future.
What to Do After an Accident:
Call For Help:
Before worrying about anything else, call the authorities. No matter if you or the other driver needs medical attention. Even if all the people involved are okay physically, you will need a police report. By calling 911, you will successfully alert any and all authorities you will need. So, making the call should be the first thing you do once you exit your vehicle after an accident.
It is a great idea to use your phone’s camera to snap some photos. Take photos of both cars, how they are positioned. Also take photos of the other car’s license plate and the road to show any skid marks. If you need to move cars out of the way due to safety concerns, make sure you get these photos before doing so. Of course, if possible, it is wise not to move the cars at all until the authorities arrive and assess the situation.
Gather Witness Information/ Testimonies:
If you were the victim of the accident, meaning it wasn’t your fault, the people standing around who saw what happened are vitally important to your case. Be sure to go around and ask everyone what they saw and take note of it and get their information, so you can contact them again if needed. Also, ask them to give their statements to the police when they arrive, so it’s documented in the accident report as well.
You might assume you will remember the events that led up to your accident forever, and perhaps you will. However, most people don’t have that good of a memory. Therefore, while it’s fresh in your mind, jot down the details of what occurred. Also, get the information of the other driver including their insurance information and the make and model of their car, along with their license plate number.
Call Your Insurance Company:
Once you have done all the above, take a minute and call your car insurance company to let them know what is going on.
Get Valuables Out:
Before your car is towed off, be sure to remove any valuables that are inside. You never know where your car will be going, so it’s a good idea to remove anything you wouldn’t want to lose.
Don’t Do The Following:
Just as important as what you “do” after a car accident is what you should avoid, or not “do.” Immediately following a car accident, never do the following:
You should never admit fault after an accident. Even if it was your fault, you don’t want to go on record as saying that just yet.
Leave The Scene:
It’s understandable that you might want to just drive away, provided you can still drive your car. However, never, ever, ever leave the scene of an accident. Even if you are at fault for the accident, you will only make things worse on yourself by leaving. On top of dealing with the accident, you will now be charged for leaving the scene of an accident. You don’t want this.
Agree to a Settlement:
The driver at fault might try to negotiate with you and just pay you themselves, instead of going through the whole process of dealing with insurance companies. However, you should never accept any deal until you talk to a lawyer.
Talk to Other Driver’s Insurance Company:
The insurance company covering the driver at fault will try their best to get out of paying for an accident. Therefore, it isn’t unheard of for them to trick innocent people into admitting some fault in order to reduce what they have to pay. The best way to avoid being tricked into saying the wrong thing is just to not talk to them at all, until you have a lawyer.
Wait Too Long To Get a Lawyer:
Many people wait until they are having trouble getting money from an insurance company to get the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. However, waiting isn’t wise. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. They will be able to guide you through the process of dealing with insurance companies and make sure you get the any applicable compensation.
Although dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is a rare occurrence for you (hopefully) it isn’t at all odd for an experienced lawyer. Therefore, let them guide you through the process of restoring your life. Contact them today.