What to do after a car accident
Car accidents are hectic, whether major or minor. They are stressful – days are thrown off schedule, and vehicles are damaged. Not to mention, injuries can happen to anyone involved, including innocent passers by. When so much has suddenly happened at once, it is important to try your best to break down the steps so that you can obtain the documentation that you need and leave the scene of the accident without having entire day being ruined. To do so, consider the following list of steps on what to do after a car accident:
1. Check for injuries
First and foremost, determine whether or not you are injured. Even if it’s a minor backache or whiplash, make note of it and mention it later on to your insurance company. If you have any passengers, check to make sure that they aren’t injured either.
And, assuming you weren’t involved in a one-car accident, go to the other vehicles involved and make sure that the drivers and all of their passengers are okay. You don’t have to stand around and talk for a long time, just make sure no one is injured.
2. Call 9-1-1
Obviously, the ambulance should be called if you or any passengers suffered serious injuries that require immediate attention. It’s a good idea to contact the police even if no injuries occurred. Police involvement, specifically police reports, can contribute greatly to accident investigations. Depending on the city or county, some police won’t even come to the scene if they are that told no one was injured and that the accident was minor. But it’s still worth calling.
Cover these bases and everything will work out as it should. Make sure to provide a detailed statement to the police officer regarding the facts of the accident and make sure that all other parties involved speak with the officer as well.
3. Exchange Insurance Info
The next step for what to do after a car accident is to exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). Insurance documentation is essential, as driving without insurance is illegal in a most states. An accident that isn’t your fault can be pursued through the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Thus, you’ll want the at-fault party’s insurance information.
If the at-fault party refuses to provide insurance information and leaves before the police arrive, take a picture, or at least write down the license plate number for that party’s vehicle. Your insurance company should be able to find insurance information on the vehicle based on the its license plate number.
4. Take Pictures
You should always try to take as many photos as you can at the scene of the accident. In fact, it’s even okay to take a video. Documentation is crucial. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for an individual to lie about what happened when speaking with the police or progressing with an insurance claim.
Take pictures of damage incurred to all vehicles involved, including your own, at the scene of the accident. There is nothing wrong with taking photos of surroundings (street signs, lanes, local businesses) or photos of the other party’s insurance information and drivers license. All of these photos can work as proof while going through the insurance process.
5. Seek out possible witnesses
Witnesses can play a huge role with regards to car accidents. They’re unbiased people who saw the accident happen and are willing to help out and contribute for the sake of the investigation. Witnesses are rare, but if you have the opportunity to even get a name and phone number, then you can provide that information to the insurance company.
Sometimes, a witness will be willing to stick around to speak with the police and write their statement for the police report.
6. Drive away or call a tow company
After all is said and done, determine whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive. Make sure that no emergency indicators are lit on the dashboard, that your seat belt still clicks into place (and stays) and that nothing is stopping your vehicle from driving safely. If your vehicle isn’t deemed safe to drive, then call MR Towing Services at (214) 238-5134. We’ll be at your service in no time to have you and your vehicle towed to your desired location.