Every day, hundreds of people are involved in serious or minor traffic accidents. If you happen to be unfortunate to be involved in one, you should know what to do immediately after an auto accident. The way you react will have an impact on speeding up the repair process, accelerating the cleanup process, reducing costs and preventing further injuries.
Stay at the scene
Always stay at the scene of an accident and only leave when it is appropriate. You can face serious financial and/or criminal penalties if you leave the scene, especially where someone was killed or injured.
Check on everyone involved
Check on all passengers and drivers that were involved in the accident. Make sure they are okay before you begin assessing property damage. Call for an ambulance in cases where people have been seriously injured. In the event a person has back pain, neck pain or is unconscious, do not attempt to move them until medical help arrives. However, you should move anyone who is in danger irrespective of their condition.
Call the police
You need to alert the police should there be death, significant physical injury or property damage. When the police arrive at the scene, obtain the badge numbers and names of responding officers. Remember to ask for a police report to be filed.
Watch what you say
After an auto accident, only speak to the other driver when you want to make sure they are okay or when you are getting his/her information. Do not say you are sorry nor should you admit liability during your conversation. Such words may be used against you in future court proceedings.
Get basic insurance information, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, numbers and names from all drivers. In the event there are passengers involved, get their names, addresses and numbers. Try to be cooperative and cordial during conversations.
Document and photograph the accident
Your can use a camera or your phone to document damage to all cars involved. Take note that you will need the photos as proof of the overall context that occurred. You should also make short notes of what occurred in case you forget what happened. They will help you make a good case to any claims adjuster. Try to get contact information from any witnesses that are present. Since the other driver(s) may dispute what you say happened, it is wise to have at least one witness who can verify your version of the accident. Contact us to learn more.