What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
November 17, 2019
Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, much less think about a checklist of things to do if one occurs. However, by keeping the following steps in mind, you can make sure that you stay protected in the aftermath of a crash.
Car accidents are going to occur. During the latest reporting gear in California, the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) says that there were more than 273,000 people injured in car accidents. Over 3,600 people lost their lives that year. Being prepared for the aftermath of a crash is important.
Key steps to take if you are involved in a car accident
1. Move to a safe area (if you are able to do so)
If you are not seriously injured and it is safe to do so, move your vehicle out of harm’s way so it does not suffer from any secondary crashes. If it is not safe to move your car, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers around you.
2. Check for injuries and seek medical care
If you were able to do so, check on all other parties involved in the crash to make sure nobody is hurt. Call 911 and get EMS on the way to the scene if there are injuries. Even if you do not feel much pain, please keep in mind that many accident injuries do not show signs or symptoms for hours or even days after a crash. You should seek medical care as soon as possible after a car crash.
3. Call the police to the scene
Make sure the police get to the scene so that they can fill out an accident report. A police report will prove to be an invaluable resource when dealing with your insurance company and other drivers’ insurance carriers. Cooperate fully with police but avoid admitting fault or assigning blame while on the scene.
4. Gather information
Write down as much information as possible following a crash, including:
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance info for all drivers
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact info for any eyewitnesses
- Location of the accident and weather conditions
5. Document everything
If you have a smartphone or another type of camera, take pictures of everything at the scene. This includes photos of damages, injuries, causes of the crash, traffic patterns, and more.
6. File an initial insurance claim
You are required to let your insurer know you have been involved in an accident. Your initial claim is just that – initial. You do not have to go into detail with your insurer when you first contact them. Avoid admitting any fault or discussing your medical condition at this time.
7. Continue medical treatment
If you have sustained any injuries in a car accident, go to all follow-up doctor visits. Continue all treatment plans prescribed by your doctor until you have fully recovered.
8. Contact an experienced attorney
Many people do not think they need an experienced car accident attorney initially, only to find out that their insurance carrier or the other driver’s insurance carrier is refusing to offer a fair settlement. By involving an attorney early in the case, you are taking steps to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the Orange County car accident attorney today.