It’s pretty normal to feel upset, confused or even traumatized after you’ve been in a car accident. You’re on edge, and your car is going to need some serious detailing.
But what do you need to do right after the accident? And then what happens further down the road?
There Are Crucial Things to Do After a Car Accident
Both right after the accident, and in the days and weeks that follow.
Immediately After the Accident
Pull over and turn on your hazards to warn approaching vehicles to slow down. Then get to safety.
You will probably be shaken and emotional. So it’s very important at this point to remain cool. Even if you feel you were at fault, do NOT admit to this or apologize for the accident.
Your best course of action at the scene of the accident is as follows:
Call 911 to Determine If Anyone Is Injured
Even if it doesn’t appear that anyone is injured, it’s a good call to let the experts decide. Plus, a call to 911 will also bring the police.
Get Info from All of the Drivers Involved
Be sure to include:
- full names
- phone numbers
- makes, models, and colors of vehicles
- drivers’ license numbers
- registration numbers on trailer and cab (if a commercial vehicle is involved)
Seek out Witnesses and Get Their Contact Information
Again, do not say anything to them about the car accident. And by all means, don’t accept responsibility.
Once the police are on the scene, be sure to get the names and badge numbers of the officers.
Get documentation of the extent of the damage to your car, as well as the location, the weather that day and the road conditions.
Once you have done all of this, you can leave the scene of the accident.
In the Hours/Days After the Accident
In some cases where there are no injuries, the ordeal is over once you leave the scene and you have only to repair your car.
But if you’re injured, or if the accident was the fault of the other driver(s), you’ll need to take action.
See A Doctor
If you are experiencing any type of pain as a result of the accident, get to a doctor immediately.
Contact A Lawyer
If you thought the next logical step was to report the accident to your insurance company, think again. Before you give any statement to the insurance company, you need to talk to a lawyer.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve been advised by a lawyer, call your insurance agent and give them contact information for all of the others involved in the accident.
Get A Copy of the Accident Report
This is the accident report from the police that will help the insurance company to determine who was at fault in the accident.
Continue Medical Treatment
If your pain doesn’t go away after the accident, continue to keep doctors’ appointments to keep him or her in the loop about your injury from the accident.
As difficult as it can be to keep up with all of this in the days and weeks that follow an accident, it’s important to do so. You want to protect your rights.
And it’s the best way to ensure you’ll get the compensation you deserve so you can finally get back to your life.