Nobody ever expects to get into a car accident, but they happen on a daily basis. While you shouldn’t expect this to happen to you, you’ll need to be prepared in case it does. You’ll have to know exactly what to do after a car accident to make sure you can look after everything.
That’s often more complicated than anyone would want, especially considering the emotions that can happen in the wake of an accident. Since you mightn’t have been in one before, you mightn’t know what to do. Seven steps are essential, as they’ll make sure everyone’s safe while getting all of the legalities covered.
It’s worth diving into these steps.
What To Do After A Car Accident: 7 Top Steps
1. See If Anyone Was Hurt
Perhaps the most obvious thing to do after a car accident is to make sure nobody was hurt. Start with yourself and anyone else in your car before moving on to any other vehicles involved in the accident. Should anyone have been majorly hurt, you should call an ambulance.
If nobody’s hurt, however, you might be able to skip this part and get straight to the subsequent steps you need to take.
2. Get Out Of Danger
Since a car accident naturally happens on the road, there’ll be other vehicles there not involved in the accident. You’ll need to get yourself and your car out of the way so you’re out of danger. You wouldn’t want to be at risk of another accident when you’re dealing with the first one, after all.
Take the time to get out of the way, especially if you’re not majorly hurt or injured.
3. Collect Important Information
You’ll need to get some information from the other party involved in the crash, as it lets you sort out insurance claims and similar factors. Make sure to get this as early as possible. Their name, address, driver’s license number, phone number, and similar information will all be vital for this.
You should also gather information about their car, including make, model, license plate, and vehicle identification number. While this might seem like a chore, all of this information could be vital for the next steps you take.
4. Contact Appropriate Parties
You’ll need to contact more than a few people following an accident. The police should be the first ones you get in touch with, as you’ll often need a police report for any accident-related insurance claims. When they arrive, note their name and badge information in case you need them later on.
You’ll also need to get in touch with your insurance company to inform them of the accident. If you don’t, you could be personally liable for any damage stemming from the crash. You wouldn’t want to be out of pocket because of this, so make sure you inform them as early as possible.
They could even talk you through the next steps, making the process much easier for you.
5. Document The Scene
You could need to go through a few legal hurdles after the accident, which is why contacting a personal injury lawyer is always recommended. As part of this, you’ll need to have evidence of what happened, so you’ll have to document the scene quickly. Taking photos of your car, as well as the other cars involved in the accident, is part of this.
It could also be worth taking some videos when you’re doing so. The more evidence you have about what happened, the better off you’ll be with any legalities. Make sure to capture any damage to both vehicles, but don’t overlook any skidmarks and other parts of the scene.
You should also note any street names, which direction each vehicle is facing, and more. With this, you shouldn’t have a problem with any legalities.
6. Avoid Discussing Responsibility
Emotions can run pretty high after an accident, which could lead to you and other parties not being able to communicate properly at the time. While you’ll need to speak to them for a while, you should avoid discussing responsibility. It can cause emotions to flare up even more, which everyone will want to avoid.
Instead, focus on exchanging information and documenting the scene. It’s natural to check to see if other parties are okay following the accident, but that should be one of the only accident-related questions to ask. Outside of this, stick to collecting and exchanging information.
The discussion of responsibility is best left to professionals, so leave it to them to do it. It’ll make sure there’s less hassle involved in the situation.
7. Be Proactive
It’s often hard to stay calm after an accident, and it’s natural to feel anxious and incredibly stressed. Being as prepared as possible if an accident happens can minimize all of this, letting you make sure you’re as calm as possible after an accident. You’ll need to make sure that’s the case so you don’t overlook anything.
If your insurance provider has an app, for example, you should download this and make sure you remember your login information. You should also have the contact information for any other relevant parties in your phone so you can get in touch easily.
You should also have a designated spot to keep your registration and all other relevant information so they’re easily at hand. By doing this, you can make sure you’re readily prepared for any car accidents that come up.
What To Do After A Car Accident: Wrapping Up
If you don’t know what to do after a car accident, you might feel more overwhelmed than you need to be after one happens. While going through certain emotions during this process is natural, you shouldn’t need to be overly stressed about the process.
By taking certain steps, you can make sure that doesn’t have to happen. Documenting the scene, contacting appropriate parties, getting out of danger, and similar steps will all be needed for this. While it’ll take a bit of time and intentional effort, they’re essential things to do after a car accident.