Unfortunately, at some point, every driver will experience a car accident. Even if you are a careful driver, you can’t control the actions of others out on the road. Accidents are sudden and can take us by surprise, so it can be hard to remember all the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your passengers after an accident takes place.
At Freedom Collision Center
, we’ve put together some tips to help make the stressful situation of a car accident go more smoothly.
Steps You Can Take After a Car Accident
Although it can be difficult to do so, the most important thing to do after an accident occurs to remain calm. By remaining calm, you will be able to complete all the necessary steps and collect all the information you need after an accident.
Call the local police in the area and request an officer to come to the accident scene.
A police officer won’t need to be called for every accident, and in some cases, like when an accident occurs on private property like a parking lot, they will not send an officer. In some cases, an officer will only be sent if someone is injured. Either way, it is important to call the police and ask if an officer is available to help figure the situation out.
Once you’ve contacted the police, you will want to call your insurance agent.
Be as courteous and pleasant as you can.
Car accidents are frustrating, but it is important to avoid yelling at the other party and to diffuse any anger or tension that may arise. Keeping a level head will help you better navigate the situation and creates a better environment for first responders to provide you with assistance.
Avoid discussing accident details and do not admit fault at the accident scene.
Avoid admitting you are at fault, even if you think you are in the wrong. It is crucial that you let the police or your insurance company determine who is at fault. You may not actually be at fault, but admitting it at the accident scene can cause issues.
From your vantage point, it is unlikely that you saw all the actions that contributed to causing the accident. Let the professionals examine the physical evidence of the vehicle involved to determine who is at fault.
Utilize your smartphone camera.
While you may have already used your phone to call the police, there are other ways to use it when a car accident occurs. Use the camera feature to take a photo of the other person’s driver’s license, insurance card, and auto insurance information to ensure you don’t copy it down wrong or lose the information. You will also want to document their license plate, the accident scene, and the damage to both vehicles.
What if Someone is Injured?
If someone is injured in the accident, whether it be you, your passenger, or someone in the other car, there are a few more things you should do in addition to the steps mentioned above. Keep in mind that you should concentrate on tending to the injuries before completing the other steps.
The first and most important thing to do is to call 911 to report the car accident and the injuries. Avoid moving the injured persons. The only time you should attempt to move anyone is if remaining in the vehicle would be dangerous. If someone is ejected from the vehicle, determine if they are conscious or not. If there is a possible spinal injury, do not move the person prior to first responders arrive.
Check yourself for any injuries.
In some cases, injuries from a car accident may not show symptoms until a few days after the accident. For example, if you are rear-ended, your neck may be slightly sore after immediately after the accident, but a few days later, this could manifest into more serious neck and shoulder pain or whiplash that will require medical attention. IF you are unsure of your injuries, be sure to get examined.
Hire a personal injury lawyer.
It is best to have a personal injury lawyer in mind prior to an accident occurring, providing you with someone you can call if you are involved in an accident with injuries. You should also encourage your passengers to seek a lawyer as well. Be sure to inform your insurance agent immediately if you or your passenger have been injured. The agent can help you find medical care and can also help you seek payment for your injuries from the other party’s insurance company.
What Do I Do if It Wasn’t My Fault?
Once you’ve completed all the steps we’ve suggested and you feel confident that you were not at fault for the accident, then all you need to do moving forward is to tell the truth.
Be sure to write down your account of the events since you may have to repeat your account several times. If the other driver contests your version of events, you will likely receive calls from your insurance agent and the other person’s insurance company.
When being interviewed by your insurance agent and the other party’s agent, be sure to answer honestly and remain calm.
What if the Accident was My Fault?
Even if you think you may have been at fault, do not admit any fault at the accident scene, but you be sure, to be honest, and open with your insurance agent. By being honest with your insurance company, they can help you review the physical evidence and the police report to help you determine who is at fault. If you have a feeling the accident was your fault, be sure to seek a lawyer who can assist you with this accident claim.
Professional Auto Body Repair
Freedom Collision Center
, your local auto body shop, is here for you if you are in a car accident. We have the experience, tools, and professional team to repair your vehicle damage and get you back out on the road. Contact us today to learn more about our auto body services.