It can happen to any one of us as we go about our daily lives; suddenly, unexpectedly we are involved in a car accident. Do you know what to do after a car accident? Knowing what steps to take immediately after a car accident are important and can help prevent further injuries, speed up the claims process, and insure that you will receive fair and full compensation from the insurance companies for your losses. Knowing these things helps you to be prepared and being prepared is better than suddenly finding yourself in a situation feeling clueless.
What To Do After a Car Accident
First make sure everyone is ok and if medical help is needed call 911 - safety and medical care is most important immediately following a car accident. If possible move vehicles to the side of the road and keep people out of the roadway to avoid being hit by other passing vehicles.
Don't leave the scene of the accident even if it is minor, it is unlawful to do so and could leave you open to criminal liability as well as liability for the car accident.
Call the police and exchange personal and insurance information with the other parties involved especially if there is a lot of property damage and/or injury. Get the name and badge numbers of the responding police officers. Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information at the scene of the accident.
Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Be truthful with your insurance company about the facts of the car accident. Lying to your insurance company can get you into trouble and might even result in their denial of coverage. Give your insurance company a copy of the police report which will point out which traffic laws were broken and by whom and who they cited as being the at fault driver.
Take pictures documenting the accident and any damage which can help you with your insurance claim. A picture can serve as evidence in the case of a dispute later. Most people carry cell phones with cameras now days making it easy to capture pictures of car accident damage. If you are one of the rare people who don't own a cell phone, an inexpensive disposable camera is a handy item to keep in your car's glove box.