Being involved in a car accident can completely derail a person’s life at worst, and it is a very stressful experience at best. The minutes after the crash are often confusing, due to the impact and sudden nature of car crashes. One moment you are just driving to work or the grocery store, and the next moment you are facing a possible long-term injury, as well as damage to your car.
It can be very confusing to know what to do after a car accident. We can help you deal with that confusion. The best thing you can do for yourself is contact an attorney such as those at Van Law Firm to help you. Consultations are free. Call us today. (725) 900-9000.
Immediately following a car accident, while you are still at the scene, you should always consider taking the following steps:
- Check your own well-being, and the well-being of anyone in the car with you
The first step after being involved in a car accident is to check your own well-being. If you have anyone in the car with you, check on them as well. Making sure you get needed medical treatment in a timely fashion should be your most important priority.
- Check your surroundings and if you are safe, you can get out of your car
Check your surroundings. If it is safe to do so, you can get out of your car and check on the people in the other car(s). The cars involved in the accident should only be moved if they are creating a traffic hazard and if it is safe and possible to move them. If it is not safe, turn on your four-way blinkers and wait on the side of the road for the police to arrive.
- Check the well-being of everyone in the other car or cars
If there is an emergency, call 911 right away and ask for an ambulance. It’s normal for people to not feel pain right after an accident, because the human body releases adrenaline to deal with the shock and stress of the situation. If you start to feel symptoms of pain or discomfort after the accident, see a doctor right away.
- Call 911 and ask for a police officer to the scene, and an ambulance if necessary
Even if there are no serious injuries, you should still call 911 and ask for a police officer to come to the scene. When a police officer arrives, give a detailed report of everything that happened to the officer. Make sure you get a copy of your Police Report when it becomes available. It can be a valuable tool for documenting the incident. By the time your case goes to court, your memory will have faded regarding the details of the collision.
- Exchange information between parties
Exchange all relevant information with the other driver(s). This includes their full name and how to reach them, their insurance company and policy number, their driver’s license and license plate number, as well as writing down their vehicle make and model.
Document the incident
When documenting the incident, it is important to take down as much information as possible. Be sure to get the name and badge number of the police officer that comes to the scene. Pictures of the scene are also very helpful. Try to show the damage to both vehicles and take pictures of any damage to property inside of your car at the time of the accident. Take pictures of landmarks and street signs in the area if you can. Write down the names and addresses of everyone involved in the accident, including passengers in the other car. Finally, if there are any witnesses to the accident, try and get their name and contact information as well.
Tell your insurance company
Submit all of your documents to your insurance company right away. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process. Following the steps in this blog will put you in the best position to get through the insurance claims process.
The next steps
If you’ve been in an accident and need an attorney, choose the experienced attorneys at Van Law Firm to guide you through your case. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your coverages and how they apply to your collision so that you can get the most compensation for the collision and get back to your life. Call our office today for a free case evaluation and consultation. (725) 900-9000.