What to do after a car accident

Things can be chaotic immediately after a crash, but following some basic steps can make filing your claim a little easier. "Car crash occurs at any time".

What to do after a car accident?

- Protect the scene. You can prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your lights don't work, you should have a flashlight to keep your safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.

- Call the police. If someone is injured, call 911.

Immediately call the police and report the accident and any injuries.

- Stay with your vehicle until police arrive. remember, do not admit fault.

Автомобильная авария в Северодвинске
By Schekinov Alexey Victorovich [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

- Gather information

* Exchange information with other involved in the accident including:
  - Name, address, phone number
  - Driver license number
  - Make, model and year of the car
  - License plate number and state
  - Car insurance company and policy number

- Document damages with your smart phone.

  - Photograph damage to all vehicles, property and injuries related to the accident.
  - Accident location.
  - People involved with the accident.
- Find witnesses to the accident and write down their contact information.

File a detailed police report. It's the law!

- Seek medical attention

  - Even if you feel fine, it's smart to get checked out by a paramedic.
  - The sooner an injury is documented, the easier it is to file insurance claims.

- Contact a lawyer and get information from the police officer if one is one the scene:

- Name
- Badge or ID number
- Phone number
- Police report number

- Ask the police for a copy of the accident report. It may take up to a couple of days before it is field. The officer's opinion of the accident will be useful in the drivers have a dispute about who was to blame. The police report will also have the officer's information on it in case of the officer is needed to testify.

  - While waiting for a tow-truck, call your lawyer so he/she can advise you on questions to ask and what your next legal steps should be.

  - File your claim. Call your insurance company immediately after a crash to start processing your claim; your insurance company's phone number is likely staffed 24/7. you will likely be contacted by your claims representative within 24 hours to discuss your claim.

Protect your rights.

Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement.

Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available.

The foregoing is complemented by what was said in the entry: Tips when a traffic accident occurs