What To Do After A Car Accident
Wondering what to do after a car accident? Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep yourself protected.
After a car accident, you should stop. Even if you don’t believe there’s been any damage done, anytime you hit something or feel a bump, you should stop your car to inspect for damage and make sure the other drivers and passengers are alright.
Don’t admit responsibility
Most insurance companies have a legally binding contract with you that states that you must not assume responsibility or liability for the accident.
What to do after a car accident
Safe driving plays only a part when it comes to avoiding car accidents. When the inevitable finally happens, make sure you’re prepared to handle anything from a minor fender bender to a head on collision. It’s important to know what to do in the event of a car accident ahead of time, rather than rushing to figure out what to do when you’re shaken and disoriented from the impact. This checklist will help you determine what to do after a car accident to ensure you’re safe and you get the compensation you need to repair your damages and recover.
Inspect damages and check for injury
Immediately after a car accident, check and see if anyone in any of the vehicles involved in the accident need help or immediate medical care. Pull your vehicles off to the side of the road, if able to do so safely, and wait for the police or emergency crew to arrive at the scene of the accident.
Call the police
Even if it’s just a minor fender bender, contact the police after a car accident. They’ll be able to write up a police report in order to help support your case and can help resolve any conflict that may arise between the parties involved in the accident.
Avoid talking about the accident, especially with the other party (or parties) involved
Don’t talk about the accident any more than you absolutely need to – in order to get the details you need from the other driver(s) involved. The only people you should talk about the accident with are the police, medical professionals, your insurance company, and your car accident attorney.
While this step is often overlooked in the heat of the moment, it’s important to gather information from the people who were in the accident and witnesses who saw what happened outside of the accident. The info you need to gather includes:
- A short description about what happened
- Physical descriptors of the other driver(s)
- Name of the driver(s)
- Address(es) of the driver(s)
- Phone numbers or emails
- Insurance company name
- Insurance company policy #
- Vehicle description – make, model, and year (take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident for evidence)
- Vehicle registration #
- License plate #
In addition to this information, you may want to try to remember to write down details of the accident and how it occurred like:
- Date and time of the collision
- Address of the accident (or an approximate location)
- The road you’re on and the nearest cross street
- Direction of travel for both vehicles
- Photos that include background information of the scene of the accident and the vehicles
- What happened (write out a detailed account of what happened to cause the accident)
- Driving conditions (weather, visibility)
- Witness names and contact info
- The name, badge number, and contact info for the police officer(s) who wrote the police report for the accident or who arrived at the scene
What NOT to do after a car accident
- Discuss fault, especially with the other party or parties involved in the car accident. The details of how you’re feeling or what you were doing before the accident are not their business.
- Accept or indicate that you were responsible. Even if you feel like you may have done something wrong, don’t accept responsibility or liability for the accident.
- Commit to anything. Your only responsibility at the scene of an accident is to collect facts and information to use in filing an insurance or personal injury claim. If the other driver(s) try to get you to admit fault or suggest you handle things without getting their insurance company or the police involved, collect what information you can, call the police immediately, and wait at the scene for the police to arrive.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a careless or negligent driver, contact The Clardy Law Firm to discuss your legal rights and options. Our experienced car accident attorneys are standing by to answer questions and help you get the compensation you need to recover.