6 million car accidents happen every year. 27% of them lead to an injury, while 6% turn fatal.
While nobody wants to believe they’ll ever be involved in a serious accident, it can happen. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the worst by understanding what needs to be done after a car accident.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover 9 important steps that need to be taken immediately following an auto accident.
1. Check for Injuries
The health of you and your passengers should be your first concern. So, before you do anything else, check everyone in the car for injuries.
After assessing that you don’t have any life-threatening injuries, ask the other passengers of the car if they are hurt. If someone has sustained a serious injury, call 911 immediately.
2. Move to the Side of the Road
Whether you were involved in a fender bender or a more serious crash, it’s important to never leave the scene of an accident. However, that doesn’t mean you have to leave your car in the exact spot it’s currently in. In fact, leaving your car in the middle of the road poses a safety hazard to other drivers.
So, if possible, move your car to the side of the road. If your car is too damaged to move, then get yourself and all other passengers out and walk to safety.
If someone in your car can’t move or is complaining of neck and back pain, do not move them as this could result in further injury. Ask the 911 operator what you should do to keep them safe until help has arrived.
3. Check the Other Car for Injuries
Once you and your passengers are out and safe, it’s important to check on passengers in the other car. Approach the vehicle and ask if everyone is okay. If anyone is unconscious or badly injured, make sure to call 911.
4. Call 911
Even if nobody sustained any serious injuries, the next step is to call 911. High levels of adrenaline can often mask pain, so you may not realize you’ve been hurt until hours or even days later.
Calling 911 ensures that you have a police report which will help you when filing a claim with your insurance company. This can be especially important if you do incur medical bills due to the accident and want compensation.
5. Exchange Information
While you’re waiting for help to arrive, take a few moments to swap information. You’ll need this when filing a claim, so make sure you get the following:
- First and last name
- Contact information, preferably a phone number
- The name of their insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Model and color of vehicle
- Accident location
In return, it’s also important that you provide all this information to the other driver. You may want to keep this list in your car at all times, so you can reference it after an accident and ensure you have everything.
You want to have a clear head during this step and the next to make sure you don’t forget anything. If your adrenaline levels are still high and you’re feeling frazzled, take a moment to compose yourself by taking a few deep breaths.
6. Document the Accident
Your next step will be to document the accident. Start by taking several pictures of both cars to show the damage. You may also want to snap a picture showing the license plate to help prove whose car it is.
When the police arrive, get their name and badge number and ask for a copy of the accident report. When talking to the police (and anyone else at the scene), it’s important to never admit guilt!
7. Call Your Insurance Company
You’ll have to report your accident to the insurance company as soon as possible. You may even want to call them while you’re still on the scene and ask them if you need anything else. Let’s face it—dealing with insurance companies is stressful enough, and you don’t want them to deny you compensation because you forgot to document something.
8. Pay Attention to Pain
When you get into a car accident, your body immediately releases adrenaline. This can actually mask pain and make you unaware that you’re injured.
If you feel any pain immediately after the accident, be sure to get yourself checked out by a doctor right away. Not only is this important for your health, but it can also strengthen your claim if you want to be compensated for medical expenses.
Even if you don’t feel any pain right after the accident, pay attention to your body over the next few days. If you start to notice pain, head over to the doctor right away. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to argue that you were injured in the accident.
9. Contact a Lawyer
Even if you did all the above steps correctly, your insurance company may still try to avoid giving you the compensation you deserve. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to contact an accident lawyer. Find out more about why you’d need a lawyer and how they can help.
Steps to Follow After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a scary and stressful event. But, by knowing the right steps to take, you can make sure everyone is safe and collect all the information you need.
Do you want more helpful tips and tricks to get you through sticky situations in life? Then check out the rest of our lifestyle blog page today.