Even the most careful drivers can get into a car accident. Even though most people are aware of the obvious steps to take immediately following an accident (assist the injured, call the police, etc.), they may be too upset to think of the less obvious steps to that. If you are wondering what to do after a car accident, the checklists below will help protect you in the aftermath of an accident.
Before the Accident: Be Prepared
We prepare our cars for emergencies with jumper cables, first aid/safety kits, and blankets in the winter. But we don’t always prepare for a car accident. Even the smallest fender bender can be stressful. You may be not thinking clearly but keeping the following items in your glove box, will help ensure you are prepared should an accident happen.
What to Do At the Accident Scene
Automotive accidents are unexpected and can happen to anyone, no matter how careful they are. Car crashes are violent and scary, and if you’re ever in one, you might not know what exactly to do. We have prepared an auto accident checklist to help you get through those unexpected accidents.
- Move the vehicles out of traffic if able to do so. Turn on your hazard lights.
- Stay at the scene. Remain Calm.
- Check yourself, other drivers, and passengers for injuries. Call the ambulance if anyone requires medical attention.
- Call the police. Call the police to document the accident even if no one is injured. You can file a police report later, but it is good to do it immediately to record accurate information.
- Take photos of the damage and the surrounding area.
- Gather information and details of the accident scene to preserve as much evidence as you can.
- Gather information on other drivers who may be responsible for the accident. Get their name, address, and contact number, insurance company name, and policy number. You should provide the same information to the other driver only.
- Talk to witnesses and get their information.
- Seek medical treatment immediately.
After an Accident Do NOT
- Do not sign any papers (unless for the police).
- Do not admit fault or discuss the incident.
- Do not allow photographs of your license or registration by others.
- Do not leave the accident scene until the police and other drivers do.
- Do not give a statement to the other insurance company.
- Do not give personal information to other drivers, passengers, or witnesses.
Things to Do After Leaving the Accident Scene
After you leave the accident scene, there are additional steps you should take to protect yourself.
- Contact your insurance company and tell them what happened as soon as possible.
- Get a copy of the accident report filed by the police or other drivers.
- Keep detailed notes on your injuries and physical and mental conditions.
- Track your medical treatment.
- Track any time missed from work.
- Get a property damage valuation.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights. Before you provide any statements to the other driver or their insurance company, you should seek legal advice to receive full compensation for the damages you suffered.
Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Handling the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Your insurance company may give you directions on how to file a claim. Be wary of early settlement offers. The personal injury lawyers at Bye, Goff & Rode can help maximize the amount of damages you can recover. Contact us today or give us a call at (715) 202-5699.