6 Things to do After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a scary event. Even minor accidents are stressful and charge emotions. More serious accidents can be traumatic and painful – physically and emotionally. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure. But it is important to remember to stay calm.
There are a few things that you should do after a car accident to ensure you and others are safe, and to ensure that you are covered if you file an insurance or personal injury claim. The car accident lawyers at The Embry Law Firm recommend the following:
1. Check for Injuries
Check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is injured – even minor injuries – call 911. Try not to move anyone who is seriously injured until help arrives.
2. Move to Safety
If you are able, everyone involved in the accident should move to safety. If possible, move to the side of the road. If the vehicles are operational, move them to the side as well. If they are not operational, make sure that all people are safe. Turn on the hazard lights in any involved vehicles.
3. Call 911
If you didn’t already, you should call 911. In some states, calling 911 to report a car accident is a legal requirement. In any case, it is a good idea to have police document the accident scene. If you plan to file a claim, the police report can help prove your case.
4. Complete a Police Report
When police arrive, you should complete a report. Document the facts of the accident. Don’t place blame or admit fault. Just give the officer the facts. The information in the police report can factor into some claims.
5. Exchange Information
Before the accident scene is released, make sure that you exchange information with others involved. If you are unable, have someone you trust gather information from other drivers, passengers, or witnesses. We recommend collecting:
- Full name
- Contact information
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license and tag information
- Vehicle information (make, model, color, etc.)
- Location of the accident and details about the scene
6. Document the Scene
If you are able, take photos of the accident scene. Don’t just photograph the vehicles, photograph the entire scene including the vehicles, damage, debris, nearby structures, and other property damage. You may also want to photograph any injuries you have.
By remembering these tips, you can help calm the aftermath of a car accident and make sure you are prepared in the event of an insurance or personal injury claim.