Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming experiences.
However, knowing what steps to take in the immediate aftermath can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and protecting your interests.
Ensure safety first
In 2022, motor vehicle accidents took 42,795 lives and injured many more. Therefore, when you get into an accident, your safety and the safety of others involved should be your top priority.
Your first step should include moving your vehicle to a safe location. Then, turn on your hazard lights. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, and call for emergency medical assistance if you need help.
Exchange insurance, vehicle and contact information with the other parties involved. Obtain names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance details. Also, gather contact information and statements from any witnesses.
Document the scene
Take photos of the accident scene as a whole, property damage and individual injuries. This visual documentation can provide valuable evidence and help in determining fault.
File a police report
File a police report after a car accident. Even if it is a minor collision, having an official report can support your insurance claim and provide an unbiased account of the incident.
Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with the information you collected, including the other party’s details and the police report.
Seek medical attention
Even if you do not immediately feel injured, seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away, and prompt medical attention can prevent complications down the line.
Keep all documents related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates and communication with insurance companies. This documentation will be important in building your case and ensuring a fair resolution.