What to do After You’ve Been in a Car Accident

Car accidents are scary, and it can be not very clear to know what to do after you’ve been in one. Here’s what to do after you have been in a car accident.

1. Make sure everyone is okay.

After you have been in a car accident, the first thing to do is see if everyone is okay. Not just you, but the people who were in the cars with you. If there are any injuries, see if anyone needs to go to a hospital.

If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately and take note of the damage done to your body. Not only will this hold you accountable, but it will help your negotiations later if need be. An injury settlement is harder to get if there’s no proof that you were hurt in the first place.

2. Call the police.

The police should arrive at the accident scene within a half-hour of your call, so it is vital to call as soon as you can. They will determine if there needs to be an investigation. The police will also decide whether or not anyone should be arrested based on the extent of the damage or the severity of the injury.

In most cases, accidents that cause damage to property or result in injuries will need to be reported to the police. Make sure to take down a report name and badge number if you need further information about your accident later on.

3. Exchange information with the other party.

Get the other party’s name, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number. If a company car is included in the accident, get their name, and let them know you will be filing a claim through their insurance later on.

4. Get witness information.

After a car accident occurs, if the weather is good and it’s possible to do so safely, look around for witnesses who might have seen what happened and whose statements could support your version of events. Get their names and contact information so you can tell your insurance company or call 911 and ask the responding officer to interview them.

If there are no witnesses available, make sure to write down what time of day it was along with any landmarks you saw around where your accident occurred. It may help in finding witnesses later.

5. Make notes on what happened.

As soon as possible, write down notes about the accident, including where it happened, how bad the damage was, and anything specific you remember happening during the accident. Keep your notes in a safe place so they can be referenced later if needed or turned over to your attorney or insurance company.

6. Take pictures of your injuries after the accident has occurred.

Take pictures of any visible injuries to help document your damage so they can be referenced if you must file a claim or lawsuit down the road. Make sure you take multiple shots showing the injury from different angles in good lighting, so it’s clear what exactly happened when your accident occurred.

7. Take pictures of the car damages for records.

Make sure not to take pictures at night or in poor lighting conditions. It could affect how much detail there is when you look back at the images after you have time to see the accident more clearly and from a different perspective. Take plenty of photos from multiple angles if there are any questions, along with showing what the scene looked like when the accident occurred.

8. Save all documents related to the accident.

You must save any paperwork related to the car accident, including police reports, medical bills, receipts for expenses like repairing your vehicle, and phone records showing when you made calls after the accident occurred. You should also keep track of lost wages by keeping all pay stubs for at least one year after an auto accident occurs.

9. Get a Tow Truck?

If the accident has made your vehicle not drivable, you need a tow. If you are questioning whether you really need a tow, then you need a tow truck. Remember, once you leave the scene of a car accident and continue down the road, you have made the decision that your vehicle is road-worthy. You do not want to be in a situation where your vehicle breaks down or due to the accident you inadvertently cause another accident. When it comes to getting a tow truck after a car accident it is better to be safe rather than sorry.  

10. Call your insurance company as soon as you can.

Call your insurance company after a car accident happens as soon as possible. The insurance company may tell you not to discuss details with other parties involved until their investigation is complete. Your insurance company is there for you, listen to the advice they provide. 

In need of auto insurance? Check out Northeast-MetroWest Insurance’s Commercial and Personal auto insurance options.

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