No matter how carefully we drive, not all car accidents are preventable. There are some factors we simply cannot control. If you are in an accident, however, you can control how you handle the situation.
It’s important to know what steps to take after a car accident. Being prepared can help you manage the situation and avoid making crucial mistakes. Take a moment to learn what you can do to get through the aftermath of an accident.
- Call 911. You want a police report of the accident. Even in a minor accident, it may be useful later.
- Seek medical attention for yourself, passengers and anyone else involved. You may not feel any pain immediately, but a doctor’s examination is still important. If your injury presents at a later date, the medical report from your exam may be a critical part of your case. It is especially important to see a doctor if you hit your head or experienced whiplash because you may be at risk for a traumatic brain injury. These injuries are very dangerous and are not always apparent right away.
- Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance information and license number. You will need this information for insurance purposes.
- If you are physically able and it is safe to do so, take pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene. This type of documentation can be very important for your insurance company and your lawyer, if you have a personal injury case.
- You must report the accident to your insurance company, but be careful what you say. Don’t admit guilt or fault. Insurance companies are often more focused on protecting their interests than yours. Don’t provide a statement or sign documents until you speak to a lawyer.
For more tips, see this checklist provided by AAA. And if you have legal questions or suffered an injury, consider discussing the accident with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights.