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What to do Following a Car Accident

Automobile accidents are scary, chaotic and stressful. Often following an accident you can feel disoriented and not sure about what to do next, so make sure that you are prepared in the event you are ever involved in a car accident.

The first step must always be to assess the situation and the safety of those around you. If you or someone involved is injured, call 911 immediately.

Next, once everyone is safe or being treated, try to stay calm; being in a car accident is stressful and frightening, but getting upset will make things worse.

Get Off the Road!

After a crash, it’s important to get to safety as quickly as possible. If possible, safely move out of the way of traffic, but if you are not able move your car without causing further damage, do not try to move it.

Watch What You Say

After an accident, you should speak to the other driver only to get his or her information and to make sure the driver is OK. Never admit fault, say things like “I’m sorry” during your conversation, or be accusing, as it could be used against you in future proceedings.

Gather Information:

  • Name of the other driver
  • Their Address
  • Their Phone number
  • Make, model and year of their car
  • Their car’s license plate number
  • Their insurance carrier and insurance policy number

If Police come to the scene:

It is important to get information from the police officer if one is on the scene, including the officer’s

  • Name
  • Badge or ID number
  • Phone number
  • Police report number

You may ask the police officer for a copy of the accident report, though often it takes a few days before one is filed. The officer’s opinion of the accident will be useful if the drivers have a dispute about who was to blame. Note that neither the other driver nor the police will need your Social Security number, so never give it to them.

Document the Damage:

  • Photos and / or video of the damage to your vehicle
  • Accident location
  • Names and contact information of the people involved with the accident
  • You may also get contact information of the witnesses, if available

Speak to Your Attorney!

While you may wish to call your insurance company after an accident, it is also a good idea to call your attorney, who can help guide you through the claims process. You will have enough on your mind after an accident, it is best to seek the advice and assistance of a professional. Contact our personal injury attorneys

Be Prepared!

If you are in an accident, being prepared with the right information and documentation can prevent stress after an accident. Always keep a copy of your insurance information and a pen and paper in your car to make the post-accident process much easier. Remember that drivers are required by law to have proof of your insurance with them at all times. Use the camera on your cell phone to document the scene with photos and / or video, after you and everyone involved is out of danger. Being a defensive driver and aware of your surroundings is a good way to avoid an accident, and never text and drive or drink and drive!