6 steps to take after a car accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful, scary, and even traumatic event. It becomes an even more overwhelming and daunting process when you’ve been injured in the accident, especially if it was at the fault of the other driver and not because of anything you did wrong.
The moments right after the car accident are critical, so it’s important that you know just what to do in order to make the post-accident process go a lot smoother. Here are the first six steps you need to take after you’ve been involved in an accident.
1. Remain calm
It can be easy to panic immediately after the accident has occurred, but the best course of action is to breathe and remain calm. You will be able to think more clearly, better assess the situation and remember important details later on if you’re more relaxed while dealing with it. Take a few moments to just breathe and calm yourself down before getting out of your car.
2. Move your vehicle out of the way
If you are able to, try and get your car out of the way of oncoming traffic. It will help keep you safe from other traffic while you wait for the authorities to arrive, and will also help keep traffic moving so there isn’t a huge jam. If possible, move your car to the shoulder or onto a side road. Before you do this, be sure to take pictures and videos as proof.
3. Document everything
Speaking of taking photos, make sure that you take as many photos as you can to show the damage to your car and the injuries you’ve sustained. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the surrounding area, including any road signs, traffic lights, and intersections that were involved in the crash. This will help with your insurance claim, and if you decide to file a personal injury claim, it will help with the proof in court.
You should also take down the license plate number of the other car, as well as the driver’s information, including driver’s license number, full name, address, phone number, and other contact information. If there were witnesses, be sure to get their names and contact numbers as well as jot down some notes from their eye-witness recount of the crash.
4. Call the police
Make sure to call the authorities so you can report the accident. If there are any serious injuries from anyone involved in the crash, be sure to tell them to send an ambulance right away as well.
5. Call a personal injury lawyer
If you know the accident was not your fault and you were injured because of the other driver, it’s helpful to get a personal injury lawyer on your side. They can help you file your claim and get you the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to, as well as navigate the confusing and complex legal process, as well as help with your insurance claim. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about while you’re recovering from your injuries.
6. Seek medical attention
Even if you think you aren’t injured that badly, it’s necessary to visit a doctor and get checked out. It will also help with your personal injury claim as you will have the relevant paperwork and proof that you were injured as a direct cause of the crash. Do this immediately after the accident, because the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to prove that your injuries were from the accident.