Immediate Steps After a Car Crash
Some of the most important steps for what to do after a car accident include:
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. If you’re hurt, the first priority is your physical safety, then the safety of others involved
- Call 911 if injuries exist and get medical assistance
- Call the police if injuries do not exist, but signficant property damage exists
- Do not move vehicles or injured persons unless you absolutely have to in order to bring them to a safe spot at the scene
- Take photos & videos for evidence when possible
- Exchange information with other drivers
- Continue all medical treatments as recommended by doctor
- Avoid missing the deadline for filing a lawsuit, get a car accident legal team in place promptly
Categorizing the Common Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen in many ways, and they tend to fall into these categories:
- Single vehicle collisions – no other vehicles involved
- Multiple standard vehicle collisions – cars, pickup trucks, jeeps
- Wrecks involving motorcycles
- Crashes involving 18-Wheeler Trucks, Buses & Commercial Vehicles
- Accidents involving Pedestrians and Bicycles
Each type of car collision may trigger slightly different responses from police, paramedics and legal representation.
Who To Call After a Car Accident
Knowing what to do after a car accident means aligning the necessary calls. Always call 911 for medical assistance when somebody is injured or has died. If there’s serious property damage call the police. Depending on how serious the situation is, you should call a car accident lawyer sooner than later since evidence disappears quickly and memories tend to change with time.
What Information to Get in a Car Accident
When possible, you need to collect information about the scene and from the others involved, including:
- The other driver;
- Any passengers in the other vehicle;
- All witnesses;
- The police.
When talking to the other driver, be calm, cordial, and helpful. They many not know what to do after a car accident. Avoid blaming and, equally important, avoid any statements about who was responsible. Do not say you think the accident was your fault/ the other guy’s. Do not apologize for the accident or say anything to indicate you were at fault. If the other driver wants to blame or take responsibility, just try not to say anything. Get the following from the other driver(s):
- Insurance info;
- License plate number;
- Driver’s License Number.
It’s helpful to have a phone recorder when you take witness statements and contact info, including exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver. If you are able, take pictures of the scene, the other vehicle, the license plate of the vehicle(s) involved, and any witness license plates. Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle.
If police respond be sure to get their badge numbers and names, and ask them to file a police report.
What To Do After a Car Accident – Checklist Download, Print & Keep In Vehicle
When you’ve been in a wreck you may not be able to think clearly. You could be in shock, upset, and hurt, and you just may not realize what to do in a car accident. You could forget some crucial steps to take in order to protect yourself and get help. Take out the guesswork and just have your a car crash checklist in the glove box, ready if you should ever need it for you or your loved ones. Parents, this is what you will want in the vehicles your children drive. Click the image below to access the checklist.
Legally, if you cannot prove something it doesn’t exist. You will need evidence to support your claim and, if the accident is serious, any evidence you collect could help your attorney with the investigation. You can use this car accident checklist to document the following:
- Motor vehicle damage;
- Accident scene;
What Insurance Information to Exchange in an Accident
Even minor car accidents are costly, and one of the most important things to do is exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). When exchanging insurance information after an accident, keep it simple. You need to get the following insurance information from the other driver(s):
- Name of insurance company;
- Policy number.
- Name & phone number of the agent(s).
Give the other driver(s) your same insurance info, and do not volunteer any additional information. Do not answer any questions.
Legal Perspective on Car Crashes – Audio Interview
Car accident lawyer Darryl Isaacs sat down to answer the most signficant questions for those who have been injured in a car crash. Join us in this radio episode of “Ask The Hammer,” the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. Play the episode on what to do after a car accident directly below.
Get Your Injury Claim Reviewed By a Car Accident Law Firm
Vehicle accident law is complicated, varies from state to state and, depending on the specifics of your car accident, you could be held liable for damages above the amount your insurance policy will cover.
If you suffer a serious injury, your medical bills could exceed your insurance settlement amount, especially if you sign an agreement with the insurance company before you know what the full extent of your injury is. Do not sign any papers or talk to anybody from the insurance company until you talk to a car accident lawyer. Most personal injury law firms offer free reviews of your case so that all parties can be on the same page and know what to do after a car accident before proceeding with legal action.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
One of the most popular and beneficial payment arrangements for car accident attorneys and injured victims involves the contingency fee model. That means the law firm fronts all of the investigation and legal costs, and they don’t get paid unless and until the case reaches a winning settlement or verdict. No win, no fee.
Take this moment to download and print the car accident checklist above. Set it next to your keys, and put it in your vehicle’s glove box on yor next outing. We hope you don’t need these resources, but should you need to know what to do after a car accident, it’s wise to be ready.