What to do after a car accident
Car accidents are hectic, whether severe or minor. Emotions are tested, days are thrown off schedule, and beloved vehicles are damaged. Not to mention, injuries are possible to anyone involved, including innocent bystanders. When so much has unexpectedly occurred at once, it is important to try your best to compartmentalize so you can obtain the documentation that you need and leave the accident without your entire day being ruined. To do so, consider the following list for what to do after a car accident:
1. Check for injuries
First and foremost, take a deep breathe and determine whether or not you are injured. Even if it’s a minor backache or whiplash, take note of it and mention it later on to your insurance company. If you have any passengers, check to see if they are okay as well.
And, assuming you were not part of a solo accident, go to any other vehicles involved and check to see if the driver and possible passengers are okay. You do not have to engage in any extensive conversation, just get initial reactions and inputs so you have them to your knowledge.
2. Call 9-1-1
Of course, the ambulance should be called if you or any passengers suffered notable injuries. It is wise to contact the police even if no injuries occurred. Police involvement, specifically police reports, can contribute greatly to accident investigations. Depending on the city or county, some police won’t even visit the scene if they are told no one was hurt and that the accident was minor. But it’s the effort that counts.
Cover your bases and everything will work out as it should. Be sure to provide a detailed statement to the police officer regarding the facts of the accident and make sure all other parties involved speak with the officer as well.
3. Exchange Insurance Info.
The next tip for what to do after a car accident is to exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). Insurance documentation is crucial, as driving without insurance is illegal in a number of states. An accident that is not your fault can be pursued through the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Therefore, you will want the at-fault party’s insurance information.
If the at-fault party refuses to provide insurance information and leaves before the police arrive, take a picture, or at least write down the license plate number for that party’s vehicle. Your insurance company should be able to trace insurance information on the vehicle based on the vehicle’s license plate number.
4. Take Pictures
You should always try to take as many photos as you can at the scene of the accident. Heck, it’s even okay to take a video. Documentation is ESSENTIAL. Unfortunately, it is somewhat common for an individual to lie about what happened when speaking to the police or progressing with an insurance claim.
Take pictures of damage to all vehicles involved, including your own at the scene of the accident. There is nothing wrong with taking photos of surroundings (street signs, lanes, local businesses) or photos of the other party’s insurance information and drivers license. All of these photos can work as proof while going through the insurance process.
5. Seek out possible witnesses
Witnesses can play a huge role in car accidents. They are of course the unbiased who are willing to help out. Witnesses are rare; however, if you have the opportunity to simply get a name and phone number then you can provide that information to the insurance company.
On the occasion, a witness will be willing to stick around to speak to the police and write their statement on the police report.
6. Drive away or call a tow company
After all that, determine whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive. Make sure no emergency indicators are lit up on the dashboard, that your seat belt still works and that nothing is obstructing your vehicle from driving safely. If your vehicle is not safe to drive then call Chavez Towing at (214) 731-7327. We will be at your service in a heartbeat to get you and your vehicle to your desired safe location.