If you find yourself involved in a car accident, the steps you take immediately afterward are crucial for your safety, compliance with the law, and the protection of your rights. Here’s what you need to do:
5 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
- Check for Injuries: First and foremost, assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. It’s vital to get medical attention as soon as possible, both for health reasons and as documentation of the accident1.
- Move to Safety: If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place. Shift your car to the side of the road, if possible, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Report the Accident: Call the police to the scene. Even in a minor accident, a police accident report can be invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. The police report is a critical piece of evidence for establishing who is at fault for the accident.
- Exchange Information: Obtain the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plates, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. Be careful not to discuss fault when going over the facts of the accident. Fault will be determined by the insurance company when you file your claim.
- Document the Accident: Identify the officers once they arrive. Get the police report number and ask for copies of any reports filed. Take pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. Also, take pictures of any injuries you’ve sustained. If there are any witnesses, get their information as well.
While these steps are essential, it’s equally important to know your rights and the resources available to you, especially when it comes to legal representation. ANTN LAW provides a free consultation to guide you after a car accident. With our online form, you can quickly fill in your details and get in touch with professional legal advisors who can help you understand the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents are unfortunately common. Early estimates for 2023 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that approximately 9,330 people died in traffic crashes in the first three months of the year2. While this represents a slight decrease from the previous year, the numbers are still alarming, emphasizing the need for safety and proper post-accident procedures.
For further assistance and local regulations regarding car accidents, it’s beneficial to refer to local government resources. Websites like NHTSA.gov provide information on traffic safety and accident statistics.
- What if I’m not sure who is at fault? You do not need to determine fault at the accident scene. Exchange information, document the accident, and report to the police. Fault will be determined by the insurance adjusters based on the reports and evidence gathered.
- Should I seek medical attention even if I feel fine? Yes, sometimes injuries sustained from car accidents become apparent only hours or days later. It’s essential to get checked out by a healthcare professional.
- Is it necessary to contact a lawyer after a car accident? It can be beneficial, especially if there are significant damages or injuries. A lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation. ANTN LAW offers free consultations, making it easier to decide if you need legal representation.
Remember, the moments immediately following a car accident are critical. Taking the right steps not only ensures everyone’s safety but also sets the foundation for the legal and insurance processes that will follow. Stay calm, follow these steps, and reach out to professionals like ANTN LAW who can guide you through the aftermath of a car accident.