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Involved in a Car Accident? Don't Forget These 8 Steps to Take!

Involved in a Car Accident? Don't Forget These 8 Steps to Take!

You were driving on the right side of the road, following the traffic rules, and in your senses. Then you hear a loud bang from behind, and your vehicle is jerked. You barely manage to control it and park on the side of the road before you realize what just happened. You've been in a car accident.

And while getting out of the car and starting an argument with the other driver might be your first impulse, it may not be the right thing to do. Thinking straight after a car accident can ensure the after-accident process goes smoothly. So what must you do? What's the right approach? Read on to know more.

Call the Cops

Dial 911 and report the accident so the local PD can reach the spot as soon as possible and ensure things are under control.

The cops will be able to:

  • Keep any arguments or fights from happening.
  • Help you with traffic control, if required.
  • Take down witness statements.
  • Investigate the accident and file a report.
  • Give you a copy of the police report, which will come in handy later.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Knowing the right legal approach is crucial, especially if the accident has led to injuries or property damage. A car accident lawyer has experience representing crash victims and can guide you on what needs to be done and how you should go about it.

This includes:

  • Consulting: After you've explained the situation, your lawyer will assess whether you have a case.
  • Filing a personal injury claim: If you or someone else was injured in the accident, your lawyer will file a personal injury claim on your behalf.
  • Filing an insurance claim: Even if you don't plan to sue anyone, you should still file an insurance claim. Your lawyer will help you with this.
  • Helping with the investigation: Your lawyer will also help the police with their investigation and get all the evidence they need to prove that you were not at fault.

Stay Calm and Check for Injuries

This is probably easier said than done, but try and stay as calm as possible. Once you've called the cops and lawyer, your next step should be to check for injuries. If you or anyone else has been hurt, call for medical help immediately.

If there are no injuries, the next thing you should do is move your car off the road, if possible. Leaving your vehicle in the middle of the road can cause more accidents. So, if it's safe to do so, drive to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.

Gather Information

Once you're out of harm's way, start collecting information about the accident. This includes taking down:

  • The other driver's name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance company
  • The make, model, and color of the other car
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Photos of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries sustained

Exchange Insurance Information

Some drivers tend to be cooperative, while others might try and give you false information or even flee the scene. So, you must get all the necessary information before exchanging insurance details.

If the other driver is being cooperative, exchange insurance information with them. This includes the:

  • Name
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Contact information
  • License plate number
  • Make and model of the car.

If they refuse to give you this information or try to flee the scene, notify the police.

Don't Admit Fault

No matter how tempted you might be, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. This can be used against you later and may even result in you having to pay for damages.

Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company and tell them about the accident as soon as possible. They will then assign an adjuster to your case who will investigate the accident and determine who was at fault.

Depending on your insurance policy, they may also cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Rental car costs
  • If you have any questions about your coverage, ask your insurance agent.

Get a Copy of the Accident Report

Once the police have finished investigating the accident, they will file a report. This document will contain all the information about the accident, including who was at fault.

You can get a copy of this report by:

  • Asking the police officer who responded to the accident
  • Visiting the police station in person
  • Requesting it online.

The report will be useful when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Final Word

Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming. But, if you follow the above tips, you can rest assured knowing that you're taking the necessary steps to protect your rights. If you have any questions or need help with your case, don't hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer. Good luck!


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