4 Things You Should Do After a Car Accident
Did you know that there are over 6 million car accidents in the U.S. every year?
The good news: most of these accidents only end up with property damage. That said, one in three accidents involves personal injuries. Preparing for these situations can do a lot for helping you stay calm if they do occur.
Not sure how to behave after a car accident? Here is a quick guide on how best to protect your rights.
- Ensure Safety
Safety is your main priority after an accident. If you or your passengers are hurt, seek medical assistance. If you’re still in heavy traffic, move to a safe spot. You may also need to protect the scene by keeping your flashers on or setting up flares.
Your next step should be to call the police, even if there are no serious injuries. When the officers arrive, ask them for their names, badge numbers, and contact info. You may also need a copy of the accident report for insurance purposes.
- Exchange Information
If there were other parties involved in the crash, take their information. This includes their name, address, phone number, insurance card, and driver’s license info. If there are any witnesses, get their information as well.
Try to keep the conversation productive. After a crash, emotions tend to run high, but leave figuring out who’s at fault for the crash to the police. Stick to getting information and leave the rest to your insurance companies and lawyers.
Even if you’re at fault, be careful about accepting blame. Statements such as “I’m sorry” can give your insurance company leverage to deny your claim.
- Take Photos
Use your phone’s camera to document the collision. Take pictures of vehicles involved in the crash from every angle. Pay particular attention to injuries or vehicle damage. Note any other relevant details, such as skid marks or road hazards.
Were you involved in a crash with another vehicle? If so, take a photo of its license plate and the driver’s license. This can be helpful if you misplace your notes. It’s best to take your photos while you’re waiting for the police to arrive.
- Contact a Lawyer
Before doing anything else, you’ll need to consult with an accident attorney. They can protect your rights and ensure that evidence won’t get destroyed. It also helps to receive legal advice before giving a statement to your insurance company.
To make your lawyer’s job easier, write down everything you can remember about the crash. This includes the location, weather, time of day, road condition, and any other details. Do this as soon as possible, while the accident is still fresh in your mind.
More on Dealing With a Car Accident
As long as you follow this guide, a car accident won’t seem so stressful. One final tip: always double-check yourself for injuries a few hours after the crash. In all the commotion around a crash, it’s very easy to neglect your injuries until later.
Want to know more about handling an automobile accident? Interested in learning how to lower your odds of an accident happening? Check out our Tips section!