What to Do After a Car Accident

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know how stressful, overwhelming, and potentially traumatizing it can be. However, it’s important to keep your wits about you and take the appropriate steps to make your life easier.

Not only will these steps help keep everyone safe, but they’ll also help you file an insurance claim. In some cases, these steps will be vital for filing a lawsuit.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about what to do after a car accident.

1. Ensure Everyone’s Safety

Your first priority after being involved in a car accident is to make sure everyone at the scene is safe. This is especially important if you’re at a busy intersection or on a high-speed roadway. If possible, get the cars moved over to the shoulder of the road.

2. Call 911

Next on our car accident checklist is filing a car accident report. Call 911 to contact medical and law enforcement professionals. Tell the operator about any injuries, particularly serious or life-threatening injuries so the responders know what to expect.

3. Exchange Information With the Other Driver

Regardless of what happened or who’s at fault, you need to exchange information with the other driver. This is one of the most important steps in what to do after a car accident. Exchange the following information:

  • Name and contact information
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance provider and policy number

If the driver flees the scene, there’s not much you can do. Try to remember the license plate number and the description of the vehicle (make, model, color, etc.).

4. Gather Evidence

Your next step is to collect evidence of the accident. This will be necessary for filing an insurance claim, corresponding with the police, or seeking legal representation.

First, take adequate car accident pictures of the inside and outside of both vehicles. You should also take pictures of the surrounding area, skid marks, damaged property, etc.

Additionally, get statements and contact information from witnesses. Finally, jot down your own recollection of the accident, as memories tend to fade quickly after traumatic experiences.

5. Contact Your Insurance Provider

If you’re wondering what to do after a car accident once the dust has settled, the next step is contacting your insurance provider. Let them know what happened and send them any car accident pictures you have. Additionally, if you were injured, let them know you’ll be seeking medical attention (if you haven’t already).

6. Get Checked Out by a Doctor

Though it may not feel necessary, one of the most important steps to take after a car accident is to get checked out by a medical professional. There are several common injuries associated with automobile accidents. Many of these may not show any symptoms until days afterward.

7. Consider Hiring an Attorney

Finally, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may decide to hire a car accident attorney. They can be essential for getting compensation if you get hit by someone without insurance, suffer severe injuries, are forced to take time off work, etc. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to find out your best course of action.

Looking for More Advice on What to Do After a Car Accident?

Learning what to do after a car accident is important for countless reasons, as you can see. However, you also need to figure out what to do with your vehicle.

Come by our shop so we can assess the damages and talk about getting your car back on the road. Otherwise, feel free to contact us today to get an estimate or ask any questions.

What to Write in a Car Accident Report

We all live in fear of having a car accident. The screech of rubber, the crunch of metal, it’s enough to make you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Being in a car accident can be traumatizing, but writing a car accident report doesn’t have to be.

We’ve put together some top tips to help you write a detailed report for your insurance company or local DMV.

Gather the Facts

Before you can write a detailed account of the accident, you need to know all the facts. You also need to gather evidence to support your claims.

Identify the Other Driver

Regardless of who caused the accident, you and the other driver need to exchange names and insurance information.  If possible, take a photograph of their insurance card and driver’s license.

If there were any passengers in the other driver’s car, write down names and descriptions of these people too.

Vehicle Information

Document the details of all cars involved in the accident, including your own. Write down the make, model, and color of the cars as well as the license plate number and state of origin.

Next, describe any damage to the vehicles. Write down the location and type of damage. For example, “The SUV has a dent on the back bumper and a roughly 5 inch scratch on the rear door.”

If you notice any pre-existing damage to vehicles, that wasn’t caused by this particular accident, make note of those details too.

Identify the Witnesses

Write down the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident.

If the witness complies, get a video or audio recording of the witness’s statement of events.

Photograph the Scene

Don’t underestimate the importance of car accident pictures. They serve as evidence to back up your version of events.

Photograph the location of the accident from different angles. Take clear pictures of any injuries and vehicle damage.

Describe the Incident

This where you walk the reader through the sequence of events.

Include as many details as you can. Remember, describe only the facts, don’t speculate or make assumptions.

Give a Chronological Account of What Happened

Step by step, describe what you and the other driver were doing before, during, and after the accident.

Explain what caused the accident, and the after-effects of the crash. Were the vehicles still operational? Were they able to be moved to the side of the road?

What speed were you traveling at? Were you able to talk to the other driver immediately, or did bystanders intervene? Detail your interactions with the other driver and make note of any injuries received.

Remember to include the date and time of the incident, weather conditions, and the exact location of the incident.

Include the Witness Statements

After you have recounted your recollection of the events, add in your witness statements.

Include a description of where each witness was located at the time of the accident so that we can understand their point of view.

Conclude the Report

Once you have proofread your report, you need to sign and date the document. You should also make a copy of it to keep for your records.

Now You Know How to Write a Proper Car Accident Report!

After a bad car accident, you’ve got a ton of things to worry about, but writing a car accident report doesn’t have to be one of them.

Use the tips above to create an accurate, factual report that will explain your side of the story.

For more great automotive content, browse through the rest of our blog!