A car accident is not an event anybody wants to be involved in. With the increasing number of car accidents recorded in the U.S. daily, educating yourself on things to do after a car accident is key to avoiding devastating consequences.
Things to Do after You Are Involved in a Car Crash
Here’s a comprehensive list of things to do after you are involved in a car accident:
1. Stop your vehicle and get off the road
First, make sure that your car is no longer in motion, by switching off the engine or setting the hand brake if you are driving manually. If you have road safety items, such as flares, you can use them. Move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid stopping traffic. If this is not possible, switch your hazards on to warn other drivers about the accident site. Additionally, call a tow truck company to get your car off the road and to a repair shop.
2. Check for any injuries and get medical help
Instead of immediately rushing out of your car, check yourself and any fellow passengers for signs of injuries. In the event that someone is injured, do not panic. Instead, call 911 to seek immediate medical help. Although you may not feel hurt or have any visible injuries at the time of the accident, there can still be internal injuries that might manifest later. Getting immediate medical care can help detect and prevent such complications. A proper medical report will also aid you in getting any compensation that you deserve. Additionally, take notice of any pedestrians or other people involved in the accident that might be injured.
3. Call the police as soon as you can after the mishap
Even in the event of a minor accident where nobody is injured, you should still call the police. Getting a proper police report is helpful when dealing with insurance companies. Although you should cooperate completely with law-enforcement officers, do not admit to any guilt and avoid blaming others for the accident. Instead, allow the police to do their job and determine who is at fault for the crash. Make sure to ask for a copy of the police report for documentation. Also, note the officer’s name and badge number as these will be helpful when filing a claim. If the police cannot arrive, you can file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles instead.
4. Gather adequate information about the other vehicle and document all evidence
In some cases, the other driver may not report the accident to avoid paying for the damage. Therefore, before leaving the accident scene, always collect the following information from the other driver:
- Name of the driver and passengers (if any)
- Make/model of all vehicles involved
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Accident location
- Contact information of eyewitnesses (if any)
You should also take photos of the accident site using your smartphone or camera if you have one, before leaving the scene. Try to note every detail of the accident, as it might be useful later.
5. Contact Your Insurance Agent as soon as you can
Call and talk to your insurance agent as soon as you can to discuss the accident and best steps in filing the claim with the appropriate insurance carrier.
If you have not been in a car accident, the following tips can help you prepare for an unpredictable mishap:
- Keep a vehicle safety kit
- Keep important documents with you, like your ID, vehicle registration, health plan info, your insurance provider’s contact information, etc.
- Ensure that your phone is adequately charged whenever you are on the road
- Keep all loose items in the glove box or center console, because these items can be lost or flung around during an accident if kept on the seat.
Although the risks of getting involved in a car accident cannot be completely eliminated, they can be covered. This is why you need to protect yourself and your car with the right auto insurance coverage. At Reata Insurance, we can provide you with the right auto insurance policy to meet your needs. Our team of auto insurance experts is always available to help you. Contact us today to choose a plan customized to your preferences and budget!