You may never be in an automobile accident, but if you are, would you know what to do afterward?
If you feel OK, there are several steps you can take after a car crash, especially in terms of collecting information.
Check for injuries
Before you do anything else, check yourself and others for injuries. This includes the other driver, passengers and any pedestrians who could have sustained an injury in the crash. If anyone appears to be seriously hurt, call 911.
Call the police
Your next call should be to the police to report the accident. While you await their arrival, you can begin taking down information:
- Names and contact information for the other driver, passengers and any witnesses
- License plate numbers and insurance information
- Location of the crash and any markers, such as street signs or nearby businesses
- Makes and models of the vehicles involved
- Names and badge numbers of any law enforcement officers that arrive at the scene
Here is where your cellphone comes in handy. You can use the camera to take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, the crash scene itself and anything else that is pertinent. Be sure to take several pictures from different angles.
Visit the doctor
One of the most important steps to take is to seek prompt medical attention, even if you feel fine and see no reason to visit a doctor. Some injuries, such as a concussion or a soft tissue injury, may not be readily apparent. Symptoms may not show up for hours or days.
Prompt medical attention is important not only for your state of health but also as evidence when the time comes for you to file a claim for insurance compensation. An insurance company will want to see a medical report, and your doctor can provide one that ties any injuries you might have directly to the car crash so that there is no question about the origin of your concussion or low back pain. Knowing what steps to take after the accident will put you in a good position to receive the best financial settlement possible.