7 Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 5 months ago

    Car accidents are never pleasant. They may cause personal injuries and damage to your property. But, what should you do after an auto accident to protect yourself and other drivers on the road? 

    Remember, in this type of moment, emotions are high. So, a lot of drivers commit mistakes that may limit their right to get the appropriate amount of compensation from the other driver and the insurance company. Put together by a car accident attorney, here are 7 steps to take after an auto accident that will help you protect your rights. 

    1. Ensure that Everyone is Safe 
    Always remember that the health and safety of those involved in the accident come first. As such, you have to make sure that everybody involved is all right. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that everyone is safe. 

    If you can, get out of your car and turn on the emergency flashers. 
    If the accident is not a minor incident or if someone is injured, call 911. 
    If you can, perform immediate first aid. However, as much as possible, avoid moving injured individuals who may have a neck or back injuries. 
    To alert other drivers, you can also set up some flares around the scene.

    2. Call the Police or 911 
    Keep in mind that calling the police is vital whether the accident is regarded as a minor or major collision. In fact, in some states, this is legally required. The responding officer will then make a car accident report and document the scene. However, if the police are unable to get to the scene, you have to go to the closest police station, and you need to fill out the report yourself. This is crucial because the insurance company may request a copy of the police report to help with the processing of your claims. 

    3. Exchange Information
    Once you’ve ensured that everyone involved in the accident is uninjured, then you can exchange information with the other driver. Some of the most vital pieces of information you should exchange are: 

    Full name along with their contact details
    Driver’s license and plate number
    Color, type, and model of the car
    Location or the address of the accident
    Insurance companies along with the policy numbers

    Remember, when talking to the other driver, it is vital that you don’t apologize, whether the collision was your fault or not. Saying “I’m sorry!” may mean that you’re admitting guilt, and it may affect your insurance and legal claims. 

    4. Document the Scene 
    To protect yourself, you need to document the scene. You can do this by taking the following steps: 

    Once the police officers arrive, you should get their names and badge numbers.
    You should also ask the police officer where you can get a copy of the auto-accident report. 
    To completely document the scene, you can take pictures of the cars, showing the damage done on both vehicles. Also, it is a good idea to take pictures of the people involved and the scene (including landmarks) of the accident. 
    Lastly, you should also get the names of all the people involved in the accident. If there are any passengers or witnesses, get their names and contact details as well.

    5. Call Your Insurance Company 
    Once the police have said that it is okay to leave, the next step before you leave the scene is to call and notify your insurance company. You have to tell your insurance representative the exact details of the accident. You also need to inform them about all the evidence you’ve collected. From there, they will tell you how to proceed. In some cases, your insurer may want to send their own inspector, or they may offer roadside assistance. Additionally, you have to make sure that you ask them about their preferred medical providers. Through this, you can keep your E.R. costs to a minimum. 

    6. Seek Medical Attention 
    It’s tempting to avoid the hassle of a trip to the E.R., especially if you’re feeling fine. However, you still need to seek medical attention to rule out any hidden injuries. So, it is best to get a full evaluation from a professional. By doing so, you’ll also have the evaluation on record.

    7. Get Written Quotes 
    The last step is to gather written quotes and estimates for all the necessary repairs. This will simplify the refund process. However, you have to make sure that you run these written quotes by your insurer before authorizing anything. 

    By following the steps mentioned above, you can ensure that your rights are fully protected during an auto accident.

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