What To Do After A Car Accident: A Detailed Post-Accident Checklist
No matter how much we try to prevent them, car accidents still happen on our roads every day. It’s sad, but it is the truth. These accidents are caused by a wide range of factors such as harsh weather conditions, driving under the influence, driving while on the phone, etc, and they can either be minor with few to no injuries or major with severe consequences. What should you do after experiencing a car accident? We’re going to look at a comprehensive checklist detailing what you should do to ensure everything works in your favor in the end.
First Things First, Don’t Panic
One mistake people when they’re involved in a vehicle accident is panicking. Feeling shaken up and confused is normal, but don’t allow these feelings to take over your head. Panic can make you do something out of the ordinary, such as hitting other cars on the road and making the problem even worse. Also, since you’re be taking crucial details about the accident, this process will need a clear head. Therefore, relax and don’t panic.
Park Your Vehicle Somewhere Safe
If your car has not sustained lots of damage and is still drivable, move it to someplace place. Don’t leave it on the road. Other drivers may not be able to see it; they may hit you and worsen the situation. Leaving it there on the road can also cause a huge snarl-up and disrupt transportation. What you need to do is find somewhere safe on the side of the road, but not too far from the scene. Don’t forget to turn on hazard lights to notify other motorists your vehicle is parked there. And if you feel like you’ve sustained serious injuries, stay in your car if it’s safe.
This is the next step you should take. Get your phone and call 911 to notify emergency personnel about the accident. They’ll then send an ambulance and the police to the scene. Even if there are other people around the accident scene, and you think they’ve already made the call, do it yourself so that you’re sure. If you’re seriously injured, the police will be responsible for collecting all the relevant details about the situation as you’re rushed to get emergency medical attention. If you feel you’re severely injured, let the police handle the process of collecting information. Remember that your health and well-being come first.
Evaluate the Accident Scene
This step only applies if you did not sustain devastating injuries and can walk around. While it’s natural to feel angry, especially if you think that the accident was someone else’s fault, don’t get confrontational with anyone. Ask the other party how they feel and whether they’ve been injured. However, there some things you should keep in mind even while assessing the situation. One, you should never discuss the accident’s fault with the other party. You may get yourself in trouble later by giving out some details, even if you were innocent.
Second, even if you feel you were at fault, never admit it. Showing care and compassion especially if the other party has been injured is human, but avoid statements like you were on a call and didn’t see them coming. Even if you were on call, something else may have caused the accident and not you. You may accept fault for something that you’re innocent. Therefore, assist if anyone needs help, but don’t admit you were on the wrong.
Collect All the Relevant Details
While evaluating the accident scene, collect the following information:
- Details of the accident. Note down the accident’s location, time, weather, and distractions on the road. Also, note the direction you were driving, the other party’s direction, your speed before the accident, and any traffic signs around. Include as much information as you can while everything is still fresh in your head.
- Details of the other party involved in the accident. These details should include the driver’s full name, phone number, address, plate number, and insurance details, including the name of the insurance company, policy number, and contact details. If they ask for your details, give me too.
- Witness details such as name, phone number, email address, and physical address. These details will help you follow it up with them just in case you need their assistance with information concerning the accident.
- Photos of everything concerning the accident. Since most likely you have a smartphone with you, take pictures of the scene, your damaged vehicle, and any injuries you sustained.
Get Medical Attention
When you’re satisfied with the information you’ve collected, it’s time to get checked out by a medical professional. Even if you feel like you’ve not sustained any severe injuries, it’s still crucial to get medical attention. The injuries may seem minor at that time, but they turn out severe later. A medical professional will assess your body to determine if you have any internal injuries and recommend medications to solve any issue found. Don’t ignore going to the doctor; that visit can save lots of health complications in the future.
Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company
After getting medical attention, notify your car insurance company as soon as possible. Don’t stay for a long time without informing them because you may end losing out on the benefits of your policy. Some insurance companies can even help you tow the car wreck to a repair shop.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If the accident was a result of another person’s negligence, then you deserve to be compensated. Rather than going up against the other party alone, hire the services of an automobile accident attorney. How can this professional help you? He/she can help deal with your insurance company, protect you from lawyers hired by the other party, and explore the various settlement options available. If the case goes to court, an experienced car accident attorney will help prepare your case for trial, manage court proceedings, and fight for you so that you get a fair outcome.
Note: First, never answer questions or sign any documents from the other party’s attorney without consulting your lawyer. Second, keep track of everything after the accident. Track your medical visits, over the counter medications, lost wages, missed school time (if you’re a student), and any other expenses related to the accident.
Vehicle accidents are always devastating, and we would never want them to happen to anyone. But if it happens, this checklist can come in handy to ensure you do everything right from the start to the end.