Even if you logically know what to do after a car accident, it can be difficult to remember the most important steps in the moments after a crash. Adrenaline takes over and the urge to act on emotion is overwhelming. Review these steps occasionally so that you’re ready if an accident occurs.
Call Emergency Services
Call 911 immediately. Even if you aren’t sure about the severity of the accident, it is crucial to start a paper trail and ensure that any injured individuals get the medical care they need.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself for injuries and take note of any pain you experience, regardless of how minor it may be. Find out if any of your passengers are injured or in need of care.
If Needed, Move the Vehicle to a Safe Location
If the accident is major, you may be unable to move the vehicles. If it is minor, emergency services may ask you to move to the side of the road to avoid causing another accident or impeding traffic. Follow their instructions.
Document, Document, Document
Once you know you are physically safe, document as much as you can about the accident. You may want to take a voice memo on your phone, since it’s often much faster than typing. Take note of the weather conditions, what happened immediately prior to the accident, and the condition of both vehicles. Take photos of the accident from multiple angles; this may be helpful for insurance. If anyone witnessed the accident, jot down their contact information.
Exchange Information and Contact Insurance
Exchange insurance information with the other party. Be careful to avoid admitting guilt; even saying “I’m so sorry this happened” can be used as an admission of guilt. Contact your insurance company promptly to report the accident and give them any evidence you have, as well as contact information for any witnesses.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in the accident or you suffered any property damage, it’s important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you’re not at fault, it’s likely that the other party’s insurance company will contact you with a settlement amount shortly after the accident. Unless you have an attorney advocating on your behalf, it’s likely that you’ll agree to an amount lower than what you actually deserve. They can assess your damages and come up with a fair amount.
Looking for assistance after being injured in a car accident? We have the support you need. Call Feldman Legal Group at 813-639-9366 to discuss your case and weigh your options. See our car accident page to learn more about how we can help you.