Guide: Steps to Take After a Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, the emotional and physical aftermath can take a toll on you, no matter how minor the accident. Following these steps immediately after the accident can help make this unfortunate experience a little smoother and more manageable.

Warn Oncoming Traffic

Put on your flashers immediately after the accident to let other drivers know to precede the area with caution. Avoid moving vehicles until police arrive unless they are causing major traffic issues.

Examine Medical Injuries

Make sure to check if anyone involved in the accident needs immediate medical care. Even there are no instant signs of injury, your symptoms may be delayed and become more prevalent in the next few days following the accident.

If you do experience delayed symptoms such as neck and shoulder pain, back pain, or even changes in your behavior, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Consider talking with an attorney even if you’re uncertain you have a case.

Call the Police & Exchange Necessary Info

File a legal accident report even if it was a minor accident and note the name and badge numbers of the police officer(s). Be sure to exchange information with all drivers involved. Obtain their:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Basic insurance information

Take Photos of the Damage

Document the full scene of the accident with photos. These can be easily taken on your phone and later submitted to your insurance company. Images can be used to show the extent of damage from the accident when compared with images of your car before the accident.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Even if you weren’t at fault, notify your insurance company of the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance provider may contest your claim, which could delay coverage for repairs, a rental car, or medical care. Your insurance company may be able to assist you with these costs, depending on the nature of your coverage. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance, then you may be compensated through your uninsured motorist coverage.

There is truly no way to prepare for a car accident, but you can at least equip yourself by knowing the right steps to take.

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