Steps You Should Follow After A Car Accident

Car accidents are a stressful experience and the collision can be terrifying. A car accident can leave you with injuries that range from mild, like a sprain or fracture, to severe, like a traumatic brain injury or paralysis, and in some cases death. Car accidents tend to have long lasting effects, whether it is an injury or emotional stress from being in the accident and possibly having to get a new car. If you are involved in a car accident and are injured you should contact an experienced car accident attorney.

Steps To Take After a Car Accident

After a car accident, there are some important steps you should follow; they are:

  1. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries: Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you discover an injury, call 911 immediately.
  2. Stay at the scene: It is important that you remain at the scene of an accident until it is appropriate to leave. If you leave the scene early and the other driver suffered damages, injuries, or died in the accident, you may be brought up on criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver.
  3. Get to safety: If you are able to, pull over to the side of the road. Proceed by turning your engine off, turning on your hazard lights, and setting up road flares, if you have any. By turning on your hazards and putting out road flares, other drivers will be able to see you and avoid a collision with your car.
  4. Call the police: Whether you are in a fender bender or a major car accident, call the police. The police will come and file a report. You should ask if it is possible for you to obtain a copy of the accident report. The accident report outlines what happened, often proving fault and noting if any traffic laws were violated.
  5. Exchange Information: When things begin to settle, it is important that you exchange information with the other driver. It is recommended that you do not discuss fault of the accident or any other facts about the accident with the other driver involved in the collision. Some documents you will want to take note of are:
    1. Full name and contact information
    2. Insurance company and policy number
    3. Driver’s license and license plate number
    4. Type, color, and model of the vehicle
    5. Location of accident
  6. Document the accident: In an effort to protect yourself, you should document the accident. Take the following steps:
    1. Identify the officers: Get the name and badge number of all police officers who respond to the call.
    2. Get a copy of the police report: Ask a police officer if you can have a copy of the accident report.
    3. Take pictures: Take pictures of the accident from different angles; try to get the other driver’s license plate in one of the pictures.
    4. Take down a name: Write down names and addresses of every party involved. This includes passengers in the other vehicle.
    5. Talk to witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, take note of their full name and contact information, as well.
  7. Inform your insurance company: Let your insurance company know you were involved in an accident. Be truthful, cooperate with them, and let them know of any injuries you have suffered. If you are not truthful with your insurance company, they withhold the right to deny you coverage of the incident and future insurance coverage. Obtain a copy of the police report for proof of fault.
  8. Keep track of medical visits: Note any doctors visits, physical therapy, or any other medical professional you receive treatment from. Keep a record of all treatments or medications you receive. Request copies of all medical reports and bills in order to help you prove your medical expenses later. 
    Tracking pain and suffering can be difficult. In order to do so, take note of how your injuries affect your day-to-day life. It is important to keep track of any missed work days, a list of any activities you cannot partake in, and describe how the injuries have affected your family life.
  9. Hire an attorney: If you have been in a car accident and you or a member of the crash was injured, you should contact a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney will help you either maximize your recovery for damages or defend you, if necessary.