What to Do After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a traumatic event. It can cause severe injuries to those involved and lead to expensive property damage. In some cases, it can even result in death. It is important to know what to do after a car accident to protect your legal rights and get the maximum compensation possible for your losses.

Take the following steps after a crash:

If anyone is injured, call 911. You should also check yourself for any injuries and make sure all passengers in your vehicle are okay. Then, move your car to a safe location so you are not blocking traffic. Try to stay calm and do not speak to the other driver or volunteer information about who is at fault for the crash – this could be used against you later in court.

Take pictures of the scene, including the positions of the cars and any skid marks caused by the crash. It is important to document the scene as much as possible so insurance companies can properly assess damages and injuries.

It is also a good idea to talk to eyewitnesses and get their contact information. If possible, it is a good idea to record their statements on video or audio to verify what they say. This can be especially helpful if the other driver changes their story after the crash.

Exchange information with the other driver. This should include names, phone numbers, addresses, work information and insurance information. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may want to consider obtaining uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage from your own policy, which can pay for medical expenses and repair costs up to the limits of your coverage.

File a police report. Having an official police report will help to corroborate the facts of the crash and will prevent the other driver from trying to change their story at a later time to implicate you more heavily. In some states, it is even illegal to drive away from the scene of a crash without filing a police report.

See a doctor for any injuries you have suffered. It is best to do this soon after the accident. The doctor will document your symptoms and pain, and these medical records can be used to support a claim for injury compensation. In some states, the insurance company will use these medical records to evaluate your injury claims.

If you have not done so already, notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. You will need to provide them with a copy of the police report, photos and the other driver’s information. They will then assign an adjuster to the case to assess damages and injuries. In some cases, the insurance company will try to settle the claim for as little money as possible or refuse to pay at all. You should consult a lawyer to make sure you are receiving the compensation you deserve. They can also advise you on whether the other driver is insured and what your options are for taking legal action if necessary.