It can be quite distressing as you attempt to figure out what to do after a car accident. You may be shaken up, disoriented, and perhaps a little confused at the events that transpired.
Car accidents are unfortunately not uncommon. In fact, the US averages nearly 6 million car accidents each year.
In this article, we’ll go through the various steps on what to do after a car accident. You’ll understand some of the do’s and don’ts as well as helpful tips to make the best out of a sticky situation.
Remain at the scene
The first step when you get in a car accident is to remain at the scene. Never leave the scene, even if you think it’s a minor accident. You can risk facing criminal charges of a hit-and-run if you decide to leave after an accident.
Check for injuries
Take a couple of breaths to calm yourself right after a crash. Check to see if you or anyone else in the vehicle has sustained any injuries.
You may not notice anything at first due to the adrenaline and shock, but after a little while, do a thorough inspection of any potential bleeding, bruising, or pains. Notify the authorities and seek medical help for those who need it.
The next step for what to do in a car accident is to call 911. Even if the car accident was minor and there were no major injuries, it’s still a good idea to notify the authorities so they can investigate the incident. Depending on the various state laws, it may even be required to call the police after you get in a car accident. The police will write up a police report and take down all relevant information related to the car crash.
Move to safety
Provided it is safe to do so, move everyone to a safe location. If the cars are operational, pull over to the curb to avoid further car accidents. Ensure your hazard lights are on and set up flares or pylons to warn other vehicles passing by.
If someone from the scene of an accident is unconscious or has neck or back pains, leave them where they are until an ambulance arrives. Only move them if they are in immediate danger.
Typically when the police arrive, they’ll take down all the pertinent details from all parties involved with the accident.
However, in the event they do not arrive, the next step in what to do in an accident is to exchange information with all involved in the incident. Ensure you obtain from the other drivers the following pieces of information:
- Full names
- Insurance details (i.e. company and policy number)
- Contact information (i.e. telephone number or email)
- Driver’s license
- Plate number
You’ll require all this information to file a report as well as for insurance purposes.
At this point, it’s also a good idea to take down any contact details from witnesses. That way, your lawyer or the police can contact them in the future if required.
Important to note is to limit communication with the other party as much as possible and never admit fault. You don’t want to say anything that will discredit your case right off the bat.
Document the accident
Make a note of all the details of the accident, including:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident (i.e. street names and intersections)
- Road conditions
- How fast you and the other car was going
- Nature of the accident (i.e. T-bone, rear-end, head-on, etc.)
- Any damages to the cars
- Any known injuries
If you have your phone, take photos of the accident scene. Include pictures of car damage or any nearby property damage. If possible, right after a car accident injury, take some photos of any visual injury as well.
Notify insurance company
Most insurance policy contracts require you to immediately notify them when you get into a car accident. Ideally, you’ll hire a good personal injury attorney to assist you and they’ll handle reporting the claim to your insurance company. However, if you make the call, provide as accurate of information as possible.
The agent will ask you details about the accident. Answer all the questions honestly, but again, do not admit fault.
Contacting a car accident attorney soon after the car accident is also a good idea. An attorney can help guide you on what to look for, what to say & what not to say, as well as appropriate next steps.
If you’re injured in a car crash, an experienced lawyer will help maximize your personal injury claim. Insurance companies are notorious for offering settlement amounts that are well below what you could potentially get in a car accident claim.
By following these few simple steps, you’ll know what to do after a car accident.
If you recently got into a car accident, contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorney team at Valiente Mott today! We offer a free consultation to give you the best legal advice on your available options.
We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay if we win the case. It’s a win-win scenario for you.
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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