Car crashes are unexpected, stressful and unfortunately are very likely. For this reason, preparing for the worst case scenario is essential. Continue reading to get out complete 5 step guide on what to do after a car accident.
1. Stay on Scene and Call the Police
Never leave the scene of an accident. If you do, there will be consequences especially if someone was killed or injured. You can be charged with some serious criminal penalties for leaving the scene before speaking with police.
The first thing you should do after being in a car accident is call the police, even if it is a small accident with little to no damage. In some states it is legally required. The police will file a report and document the accident. If the accident is minor and the police can’t come, it is suggested that you go to the nearest police station. Whatever happens, make sure you get yourself a copy of the police report along with the names and badge numbers of all the officers involved.
2. Check Passengers and Yourself for Injuries
While waiting for the police to arrive, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If someone has been injured, notify the police immediately. Dispatcher swill let the authorities know, so they can send the right kind of help to get to you fast. If you or someone else has been injured, make sure there is as little movement as possible while you wait for an ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive.
Never remove a passenger yourself unless it is an absolute emergency. If the person is injured and you move them, they risk further injury. Wait for the trained professionals.
It is always wise to get checked out by emergency services whether you are injured or not. Oftentimes, people don’t realize they are injured until after an accident because shock will delay pain. Make sure you care for your body after a car accident to ensure you are in good health.
If you have ever asked yourself “why does my neck hurt after an accident?“, shock and a surge of adrenaline is probably what you experienced post accident. This kind of injury may not be noticed until way after the fact and could be serious. This is why it is important to look after yourself and your body post accident.
3. Exchange Information
After you make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe, you should start exchanging information with the other driver. Important information you will need to exchange includes the location of the accident, name and contact information, driver’s license and license plate numbers, insurance companies and policy numbers and details about the vehicles.
Make sure you don’t discuss whose fault it is while exchanging information. If you apologize or admit to something, you may be admitting legal liability for the accident.
4. Document the Accident
Documenting your accident protects you and prepares you for filing your insurance claim. Take multiple photos of all vehicles from all angles that were involved in the accident. If you can, get photos of their license plates too. You will also need to identify the police on the scene by name and badge number and any witness testimonies.
5. Make Calls to Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. It is crucial that you are 100 percent upfront and honest with them about any questions that they ask. Be clear about your injuries if you have any.
It is wise to go over any police report with your insurance company. They will also need to document the accident as well as any damage or injuries.
If you get caught lying to your insurance company there will be consequences including a complete denial of coverage.