If you’ve been involved in a car collision or accident, do you know what to do next? Most of us use cars to travel around every day, yet we rarely stop to think about what to do if we were involved in a crash.
There are many car accidents across the U.S every year, so if you drive regularly, then it’s likely you may be involved in one at some point in your lifetime.
Therefore it’s important to be prepared for this situation, should it arise. What you do at the scene of the accident could potentially affect your ability to claim compensation.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, to reduce the stress and workload involved, you may want to call a car accident lawyer. They can inform you about your different options going forward.
Knowing the right steps immediately following an accident can save your frustration later down the line.
5 steps to take after a car accident
1. Survey the situation and check for injuries
Immediately after a car accident, check yourself and other passengers for injuries – call an ambulance if needed.
Make sure your vehicle is in a safe place, away from other traffic. If it’s not, then if you’re able to, try to move it to a safe spot before taking details of other parties involved.
Turn off your engine and put your hazard lights on to make other drivers aware of the situation.
Check your vehicle for damage and assess if your car is drivable or will need to be towed.
2. Inform the police
After a car accident, it’s vital to inform the police, to get an accident report. This report is crucial to help with any insurance claims and will help establish who was at fault for the incident.
No matter how minor the incident, it’s sensible to have an accident report to ensure you can receive compensation if the accident was not your fault, or claim from your own insurance.
3. Exchange contact details
The next step is to exchange contact information between those involved in the accident. It’s important to take note of all names, contact information, vehicle details, driver’s license numbers, license plates, and insurance information.
Ask for any witnesses of the accident and take contact details in case you need witness statements to support your case.
4. Take photos of the crash and location
The most accurate way to document the accident is to take photos of the vehicles involved and also the location where the accident took place.
5. File a claim with your insurers
If you chose to go through your insurance to fix the damages to your vehicle, then the next step after a car accident is to contact your insurance company, as soon as possible, to file a claim.
Some companies now have an online claims system, while other companies require a phone call.
What happens next?
After you’ve filed a claim, you should expect your insurance company to contact you to assess the state of your car and the cost of repairs. A claims adjuster will review your claim and all the information you’ve provided, then give you an estimated cost.
Once your claim has been filed and completed you should be able to then get your vehicle fixed and get back on the road.