8 Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident

car accident hit tree

It’s understandable that after being involved in a car accident, you may feel disoriented and confused—but the decisions and actions you take after an accident are very crucial to help figure out the value of your injury claim. Instead of panicking, take a deep breath and focus on the next necessary steps to be done following a car accident. There are hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road, so the odds of getting into a collision in your lifetime is frantically high. With more car accidents killing citizens than any other calamity, it is best to be aware and knowledgeable of your legal actions and rights.

Before anything else, you need to remember this: if you get involved in a car accident, or if you collide with something, even if you think that there is no damage—always stop your car. This is your legal obligation.

Read on below to find out more about car accidents and what you should do if you get involved in one:

1.     Check for your own injuries and the well-being of other passengers.

The very first step to take is to check for your own injuries. If the accident has resulted in any injuries, seek medical attention at once. You must also check the well-being of the other passengers with you. You need to check if is there anyone unconscious, seriously injured, or badly trapped on something sharp or heavy. If someone seems to have any broken bones or is in a precarious position and you are not in an immediately dangerous position that demands you move away from the car, it’s best to not move their body yet to avoid worsening their injuries. If you or your passengers do not need immediate medical help, you may continue to the next steps below.

2.     Check for other damages

After making sure that everyone—including yourself—is safe from any injuries or sharp objects, you may also check for other damages in your car. If you can, you may move your car to the side of the road or highway if it’s causing major traffic. But generally speaking, it’s best not to move anything until the police arrive.

3.     Make sure you’re in a safe zone

If you smell leaking gas while you were checking other damage to your car, get out of the car immediately. Position yourself and your passengers at a safe distance from the car but don’t leave on the scene of the car crash just yet—leaving the scene might make it hard for you to file your claim and could even put you at risk. So, stay in a safe zone, and stay alert at the same time.

safe zone car accident zone

4.     Call the police

Contact the police after you have moved yourself and any passengers to safety. The police will then file an accident report, which is essential for attorneys when analyzing a legal case. The report contains vital information about what happened, and documents both parties involved in the car crash. While waiting for the police to arrive, it is best to not talk about what happened with the other party entangled in the accident. Don’t talk about your opinions about what must have happened as it could be risky for your case. It’s better to talk less and just observe.

5.     Call for medical attention

While you may initially think that you and your passengers were not badly injured, still seek medical attention as there are some injuries that are not felt right away or physically obvious—some symptoms of internal injuries are only felt a few days after the accident.

6.     Collect Factual Information

As mentioned above, it is best to talk less and observe more. This includes collecting factual information about the accident. You should record the location of the car crash, the time of the accident, and the type, color, and model of both vehicles involved. You should also collect the necessary information about the other party such as their complete name, address, contact information, license number, plate number, and the insurance company. These facts may be useful for the police’s investigation later on and for your lawyers.

Other details, such as which directions you and the other car was traveling, both your driving conditions and recollections of what happened both before and after the car accident, names of the other passengers, and names of any witnesses will also be useful for further investigations later on.

7.     Gather or Document Photographs

Photographs of the accident are one of the most important pieces of evidence to gather. You should take pictures of the scene of the car accident to document the positions of the cars and the damage to your vehicles. It is also beneficial to document pictures of your cuts, bruises, and any other injuries.

8.     Seek Legal Advice

It’s better to call your insurance agent while you are still at the scene. They will assist you with further instructions to follow in order for you to process your claim. Avoid giving your own statement to the other party’s insurance company or even signing documents on your own as it can get you into trouble. It is best to wait for your attorney and your insurance company to arrive to help you with the case. They can also help you check several insurance options when you get into a car accident. No matter what happens, always seek advice first from the authorized and legal persons before doing any action.

Conclusion

Car accidents can happen to us anytime as even the most experienced driver can get tangled in an accident when met with a reckless one. The accident may disturb your sense of thinking and bewilder you, but it is best to stay calm and compose then follow the steps mentioned to protect you with your legal rights and avoid unnecessary worries for yourself.