6 Things to Do After a Car Accident
Car accidents are never a pleasant experience. Whether you ended up in a fender-bender because somebody took their eyes off the road, as the result of a vehicle malfunction, or when driver error is the only feasible answer, getting into a car accident is one of the worst things that can happen in the course of an average day.
How you deal with a car accident is more important than you think. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to do after an accident to keep yourself safe and safeguard your finances in the process.
It might seem obvious to most people, at least from the comfort of their desk or sofa, but the first thing you need to do after a car accident is to take a look around at where you are. In some cases, you may find that it’s not safe to exit your vehicle. This will often be an issue if you got into an accident on the highway or on a busy city street.
Take the time to look around and make sure you get out of the car slowly. If you’re only in a minor accident, pulling to the side of the road can guarantee your safety and help you get a clearer picture of what actually happened without cars zipping by you.
Immediately Assess Damages
After evaluating your safety in the immediate aftermath of an accident, the first thing you need to do is assess the damage. Do this for yourself and any individuals also involved in the accident. If there are injuries, calling emergency medical services is essential.
If nobody is hurt, you need to begin assessing the damage to your car and the vehicles of other drivers involved. At this point, you shouldn’t be talking about how the accident occurred or who is at fault with other drivers. Doing so may cause you more problems than you would expect later, especially if you admit fault in the heat of the moment or blame a driver for an error that wasn't really theirs.
Wait for Police
Minor fender-benders where there are no visible damages other than a scratch or two likely don’t require police intervention. However, waiting for help is still wise whenever possible. Accidents where vehicles are obviously damaged, or accidents that involve more than two cars, need police on scene.
In the case of a more severe accident, you’ll want to wait until the police arrive to discuss the accident. The police will also help sort out insurance information so you don’t have to deal with upset, frazzled, or irate drivers.
In a day and age where almost everybody has a smartphone with a high-quality camera in their pocket, there’s no excuse for not documenting damages to your vehicle and any damages of other vehicles involved in the accident. You’ll also want to take note of license plates and snap photos of the individuals involved in the accident if possible.
Doing this will give you a more thorough record of what happened, who was involved, and even when the accident occurred. After all, most photos are archived on a particular date to the very minute they were taken.
Even skid marks on the road and signage in the neighborhood can come in handy down the road.
Visit Your Doctor
If you have any injuries from a car accident, one of the most important things to do is schedule a visit with your doctor as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove you were injured as a result of the accident if you need to do so down the road in order to obtain monetary compensation.
Even if you have to pay out of pocket, going to see your doctor after a car accident is paramount to receiving the compensation you deserve.
Hire an Attorney
You may not need a car accident attorney after a minor collision, but if you’re hurt or your vehicle was badly damaged, you may need help getting compensation. When you hire an attorney, they can also help you deal with your insurance company so you get a fair payout.
While many attorneys know the law, you need a car accident attorney to who knows the ins-and-outs of accident-related law. Only a specialized car accident attorney can truly help you if you’re involved in a more complex case as well.