What To Do After A Car Accident
Your blood is boiling, your heart is pounding, and your mind is racing. For most of us, this moment will happen 3 to 4 times in our lifetime. While we will likely react the same each time, it’s knowing what to do in the moments following, and in the weeks ahead, that many of us are never actually taught.
Your parents likely taught you how to drive, but did they teach you what to do in the event of a car accident? If not, it is far too easy to let frustration, panic, and confusion consume you, ultimately injecting unnecessary stress and circumstances into the entire car accident process.
That being said, let’s dive into what to do after a car accident.
We know how obvious this sounds, but you’d be surprised as how many people, following an accident, don’t give proper attention to the health of themselves and their passengers. Ensure everyone is okay. If someone is injured, contact police immediately.
Injury-related costs can lead to financial issues far more inconvenient than making sure everyone is okay and, if needed, seeking medical attention. Further injury is a further concern, so if possible, move car to a safe area and active your hazard lights.
Call The Police
Regardless of the accident’s severity, call the police. This is a large gray area when it comes to dealing with an accident, but having the police come to the scene of an accident ensures multiple things:
- Events are properly documented and person at fault is established (these factors are invaluable to speeding up the claim process).
- All necessary information is obtained among all parties involved.
- The scene of the accident is properly inspected and necessary safety measures are taken.
- No one is coerced or taken advantage of (someone later attempts to claim they were injured in the accident).
- All parties are properly insured.
Ultimately, a police report isn’t always ‘needed’, but having one significantly expedites the claim process and ensures no one is taken advantage of.
Many people we talk to don’t document all necessary information because they felt awkward and flustered in the confrontational moments following the accident.
Make sure you obtain the following information of all those involved:
- Full name and contact information
- Driver’s license number and license plate number
- Insurance company and policy number.
- Type, year, and color of vehicle.
Failing to obtain all information is quick way to add unnecessary time and stress to the claim process. If you called the police, all this information will be included in the police report. However, a police report won’t be immediately available, so make sure to document all information in order to file your claim.
Seek Medical Attention (If Needed)
If you, or any passengers, suspect any medical issues, seek medical attention immediately. If no immediate issues are present, wait a few hours and evaluate. Adrenaline from the accident has the ability to mask the immediate pain.
When it comes to auto accidents, some injuries, especially whiplash-related, won’t present themselves until a month later. At this point, it is too late to file an injury claim and you will be stuck with all associated medical bills.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to seek medical attention. We promise the inconvenience of going to a clinic and being checked out is far less than that of unforeseen medical bills.
Once everything has been taken care of, and you have seeked any necessary medical attention, file your claim.
- If you are at fault, file with your insurance company.
- If other party is at fault, file with your insurance company and their insurance company. In some cases, communication between the 2 companies will take place, but in most scenarios, you will solely deal with their insurance company.
Filing the claim immediately ensures your account of the accident, and all details, are as accurate as possible. It also ensures the speediest process.
Car accidents are stressful and inconvenient. Don’t add additional stress, inconvenience, and frustration by improperly dealing with what happens immediately after. Know what to do after a car accident and pass the knowledge along.