What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Car accidents are never easy. Whether it is a major life-changing accident or a minor collision, trauma affects each of us in different ways. Many people don’t like to think about car accidents or discuss the topic, but the reality is that it can happen to anyone at any time. The best thing to do is to be informed and prepared in case the circumstances present themselves.
Many people have not been in car accidents or will only be in one car accident in their lifetime. Understandably, most people don’t know what to do or how to act when faced with this difficult situation. The following are a few steps to follow in the event that you are involved in a car accident.
Driving away from the scene of an accident is never a smart move. Make sure to stop and check that the other people involved in the accident are okay or if they need immediate medical attention.
- Exchange information
Get the other driver’s contact information including name, phone number, address, license plate and insurance information. Always ask for proof such as a driver’s license and the names of any other people in the vehicle.
- Call the police
A police report may be required to file an insurance claim. It is also necessary to have a police to deal with difficulties that may arise immediately following the accident.
- Give accurate descriptions
In order to facilitate the police report, give a detailed and accurate description of what happened. Write it down if necessary as it might become useful later on for insurance records.
- Take pictures
Always photograph the location of the vehicles and the damage caused to them. Also take photos of any injuries you experience as they will be useful later on if you file a lawsuit.
- Seek medical attention:
If you or anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately. It is important to follow the orders given by your doctor. Many people report injuries the day after an accident, again, take pictures and keep a record of everything you are experiencing as it may be useful later on.
- Talk to your insurance provider
There will be a lot of back and forth between insurance companies. Make sure you talk to your insurance provider and clearly understand what you are covered for and any paperwork that needs to be completed when you file your claim.
- Keep a record
Keep all documents given to you by your doctors, the police and your insurance on file. Having all of these documents is necessary to avoid costly mistakes and to provide your lawyer if you choose to open a case. Having a personal record or photos of injuries and feelings related to the trauma as well as photos of the vehicle will be useful.
- Call an attorney
Insurance companies typically try to close cases rapidly and will offer a low settlement to begin with. Speak to an experienced attorney regarding your options to make sure you are being fully protected and compensated following an accident.