If you’ve just been in an accident, you’ll probably be feeling overwhelmed, confused, or you may have even been severely injured. Right after an accident is not the time to try to figure out what you need to do first. Instead, make sure you know what to do after a car accident long before you’re ever in one. To help you get prepared, here is your guide for what to do after an accident.
#1: Assess The Situation
If anyone is injured, call 911. If there has been significant damage but everyone seems fine, it’s still a good idea to call the police and get a police report. After that assess your situation again to determine if you or the other involved parties are in any danger. If you’re able to, move the vehicles out of harm’s way or out of the way so as not to impede traffic. If you’re going to do this before the police arrive on scene, just be sure to snap a few pictures of the vehicle as they were when the accident occurred. Stay aware throughout the remainder of your time on the side of the road. It can be dangerous with other drivers passing who may not be paying close enough attention.
#2: Take Pictures and Notes
If you haven’t already, take pictures of the scene of the crash. Having a police there to write up a report will be extremely useful, but the more documentation you have the better. Take notes and get the other driver’s name and insurance information. Even better, take a picture of their insurance card and ID. You can also get contact information from witnesses.
#3 Be Careful What You Say
Following an accident, you may not be thinking clearly. It’s important to know before hand what you should and should not say. Never admit fault. This can be anything from saying that the accident was your fault to just saying “I’m sorry.” If later down the line you need to take legal action, you don’t want to say anything incriminating. You also shouldn’t say that you’re fine or uninjured. Some injuries don’t surface until much later, so instead say say “I don’t believe I need medical attention at this time.”
#4 Contact Insurance
After your accident you’ll want to contact your insurance company and figure out how much of your medical bills and auto repairs will be covered. Better yet, know these details before you’re in an accident so that you can begin to get your injuries and car taken care of as quickly as possible. Whether you are at fault or not, let them know about the situation and be cooperative.
#5 Consider Hiring An Attorney
Even if you do everything right after an accident, sometimes things don’t always go your way. If there has been debate about who is at fault you may want to consider hiring an attorney. An accident attorney will work to make sure your case is fair and that you are able to get on with your life despite having been in an accident.