Getting hurt in a car accident is never expected, so it is important to know how to handle such a situation before it occurs.
If you’ve never been in a car accident before, it can be a challenging situation to handle because your adrenaline is running high and you may begin to panic.
However, knowing what to do can help give you the confidence you need to properly handle the situation.
Step 1: Stay where you are.
It may seem like common sense, but it’s important not to drive away after getting into a car accident. Doing so can lead to serious consequences.
Step 2: Keep the scene as safe as you can.
If you have flares, setting them up around the scene can help prevent further accidents. You can also turn on your hazard lights to alert others of the crash.
Step 3: Call 911.
Even if no severe injuries are incurred, it’s a good idea to call the police so they can come and make a report about the crash. Having a police report is good for your claim because it helps show that you contributed less to the accident than the other party(s) if you contributed to it at all.
If your car is in the way of the flow of traffic, move it out of the way after snapping a few quick photos. However, if your car is not in the way of traffic, leave it where it is so the police officers can see it for themselves.
Additionally, be sure to ask the investigating officers for the police report number once the report has been finished so that you can retrieve it online when it becomes available.
Step 4: Be transparent with the police about what happened.
It’s in your best interest to be as honest with the police as possible about the events that lead to the accident. If there are certain details you are unsure about, be truthful about that with the police and say you don’t know. Don’t try to speculate or make assumptions about anything that happened because doing so can hurt you more than it can help you.
Step 5: Capture photographs of the scene.
Use your phone to take pictures of the visible damage to the vehicles involved in the crash, including your own. It’s wise to take photos of your visible physical injuries too.
Step 6: Exchange information with others involved and witnesses.
Be sure to gather the following information from anyone involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike:
- Phone numbers
Additionally, obtain the following information from any drivers involved in the crash:
- Auto insurance information (take a photo, front and back)
- Driver’s license (take a photo, front and back)
If anyone witnessed the accident occur, ask for their contact information as well.
Step 7: Seek medical care.
Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, if you’ve been involved in a major crash, it’s a good idea to have yourself checked out anyway. When you are in shock, it may take time for the symptoms of your injuries to present themselves. You may not feel any pain for hours, days, or even weeks following a crash.
Step 8: Contact an attorney.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your claim is to hire a skilled car accident attorney to help handle your case. The last thing you want is to miss out on valuable compensation that a professional could have helped you obtain.
Step 9: Report the accident to your insurance company.
Your auto insurance policy likely states that you are required to report an accident to the insurance provider within a reasonable amount of time following a crash. Keep in mind you are not required to provide a statement over the phone, as it will be recorded.
You may provide an accident statement to the insurance company in writing, or your attorney may do it for you.
Step 10: Maintain an organized file with all your documentation.
It’ll be tremendously helpful for your case if you are organized with all of the documentation related to your case. This information should include:
- Claim number
- Claim’s adjuster handling your claim
- Names and phone numbers of all relevant contacts
- Rental car receipts
- Proof of other costs incurred due to the crash
We’re Here to Help You
Sustaining injuries in a car crash that wasn’t your fault is not only extremely frustrating, but it is also painful. If this has happened to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled team right away to discuss the details of your case. We have helped many others in similar circumstances and we will do everything in our power to fight for justice on your behalf too.