Car on car collisions are among the most common accidents. Even so many people involved in car accidents don’t know what to do in the occurrence.
That’s why we put together a list in numerical order of the steps you should take during a collision.
- First thing you should do after an accident is stop. Driving away from a scene even if it’s a minor crash can have serious consequences to both you and the person affected.
- Second, protect those around you. By turning on your emergency lights, you can let passer bys’ know that there’s either been a collision, or your car is not functioning. This is particularly important at night. If your lights don’t work, make sure to use a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait inside your car. If your car isn’t safe go to the side of the road in a safe area, and wait for the police to arrive.
- Don’t move your vehicle unless it interferes with traffic. This can be particularly important for the police investigation. If the car is in the way of traffic, move it to a safe area (the right shoulder if you can) The police will still be able to do their investigation and help you thoroughly.
- Call the police. It’s important to call the police as you may need a report to file a claim through your insurance company. Furthermore if anyone is injured it’s best to involve the police no matter how small the accident may be.
- Be as accurate as possible. It may be hard to keep all the facts straight in the flash of an accident, but it’s important for you to be as accurate as you can. When the police come make sure to only state what you know, if you can’t recall or remember let the officer know. Don’t try to guess or figure out what happened. This could hurt your case in the future.
- Take pictures. If you have any device that can take photographs, such as a phone please make sure to photograph any visible vehicle damage along with any injuries. This will come in handy during your insurance claim.
- Exchange information. Though a police officer will typically record all information of the involved parties, it’s important for you to keep a record as well. Make sure to exchange name, address, phone number, and insurance card info with any of the vehicles involved. This is particularly important if the police do not respond to the accident. If you can get the info of any witnesses this will help your attorney in your case.
- Notify your insurance company. Most insurance policies require immediate cooperation, it’s of high priority for your case. If insurance companies that aren’t your own ask for your statement make sure to let them know you “are not prepared to make a statement at this time”. Most insurance companies will want you to make a statement directly after an accident but it’s important you consult an attorney before making your statement. Attorney’s can help you gather and protect the information necessary to make sure you receive the best medical treatment and proper compensation for your vehicle.
- Seek medical attention. If you’re injured make sure to go to the ER or your primary physician immediately after the accident. Often times you won’t feel your injuries right away, injury symptoms can be delayed anywhere from 2 days to a week. It’s important for you to report any symptoms to your doctor and seek an accident doctor. If you were knocked unconscious during the collision you must seek immediate medical attention, though you may not feel injured you could have a serious internal head injury or concussion. See our blog “Spot your symptoms” to know more.
- Keep a record. Make sure that any bills accrued by the accident are kept in your documents. Everything from claim numbers, ER expense, vehicle repair, or rental cars. This will help you during your claim, and help your attorney in your case.
- Get proper documentation. To file everything correctly make sure to get an attorney to represent your case, and an accident doctor that specializes in making proper medical documentation needed for patients involved in accident litigation. Many attorneys and doctors that work on liens can help you during the stressful times by taking payment given to you from your case settlement and not your pocket.
Lastly remember to take a breather, accidents can be stressful but if you follow the proper steps you’ll be back on the road to recovery in no time.