After a collision, you’re likely to be frazzled and forgetful. You may not remember everything you’ll need to do after an accident, so here’s a handy list of what to do following a car crash.
What To Do After a Car Crash
After an accident, it’s essential to deal with the situation quickly — before emotions get out of hand. Here are the five best things to do after a car accident:
- Call the police if you’re in a private area or if there are injuries involved.
- Call for medical help for any injured parties and exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident.
- Take photos of the accident and any injuries. Have a witness take photos, too.
- Write down everything you remember about the accident, including other drivers’ information, weather conditions, and road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and get compensation after an accident. Remember to Get in contact with this Car accident lawyer in west covina | lem garcia law.
Let’s go into detail on the recommendations above.
Calling the Authorities
If you’ve been in a car accident, what do you do? Your first step should be to call the police if you’re in a private area or have injuries involved. When the other driver has fled the scene, ask someone to call the police while you wait with the victims at the scene until help arrives. This is your legal obligation and could save lives.
If you can drive away from the scene of the accident, don’t! Pullover to a safe location and call 911. Stay on the phone until emergency personnel arrive. Doing so helps document what happened, which can be very helpful if you end up in court.
Why is that so important?
You should call the police because it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident until everyone agrees on who’s at fault and what damage was done. By calling the police, you’ll be able to get that information on record right away. And by not calling, you could be setting yourself up for a far more stressful situation later on — especially if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or leaves without leaving their information.
When you call the police, officials will come out to the scene of the accident, interview anyone involved, and issue a report complete with contact info for everyone involved. That includes insurance companies, so even if you are already aware of your involvement, it can be helpful to have official contact information for all parties involved pinned down as soon as possible.
It also means that all parties agree that there was an accident and that no one is trying to skip town to avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses or facing penalties from their insurance company.
Seek Medical Help
After any car accident, whether you were at fault or not, the first thing to do is call 911 and seek medical help for any injured parties. If you or another person are injured, get any needed medical attention. If there are no injuries, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the crash. This includes names and phone numbers as well as insurance information. If possible, get the other driver’s license number and license plate information.
Why is it a must-do?
After a car crash, you may or may not have visible injuries. But even if you don’t, it’s important to seek medical help right away. Why? Because many injuries don’t show up right away. You will need the medical records and documentation from the doctor for your personal injury claim.
If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to take photos of the accident and any injuries. Also, have a witness take photos, too. Trying to remember what happened at an accident scene can be difficult. Taking pictures as soon as possible helps everyone involved if you do need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit in the future.
Taking photos of the accident helps officials determine who is at fault and what the damage is. It also helps you and your passengers remember the crash details if there are any disputes later on with insurance companies or other parties involved, like law enforcement or medical personnel.
Why do we recommend doing so?
Taking photos of any damage to your vehicle can also be incredibly helpful at a later date when dealing with an insurance company trying to decide who was at fault for an accident — especially if that damage would cost several hundred dollars or more to fix.
Document if Possible
Simply put, it may be your only chance to prove fault and avoid having to pay for repairs out of pocket.
Regardless of whether you are the driver or passenger in an auto accident or not, if you can do the following three things — you will be able to help yourself if an insurance claim is necessary:
- Write down what happened right away.
- Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle.
- Gather information about the other driver’s vehicle.
Documenting what happened right away is crucial because it can help you remember all the details surrounding the accident more clearly later on — especially if there is a lot of confusion at the time of the accident (as there usually is). And writing down everything you remember about the accident, including other drivers’ information, weather conditions, and road conditions at the time of the accident, will also help you remember details later on.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting into a car accident is a stressful experience. It can be difficult to know what to do in the aftermath. Do not try to handle a vehicular accident claim on your own. Insurance companies will often try to settle claims before going to court to minimize their losses. A personal injury attorney will structure the settlement offer so that you get as much money as possible.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer should be non-negotiable!
Remember, trying to navigate the legal system on your own can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you’re dealing with injuries or need time off work to recover. You might consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.
These tips are simple and straightforward, but that doesn’t negate the fact that car crash victims often overlook them. After all, in the heat of the moment, we tend to forget about our own safety and well-being. It’s certainly okay to feel flustered after a car accident, given how shaken up we may feel—but it’s important not to forget about your health during an urgent situation.
Author Atty. Lem Garcia
Lem Garcia founded Lem Garcia Law in 2014. It has become one of the fastest-growing and most well-respected personal injury law offices in Southern California, having recovered millions of dollars for clients. He received a journalism degree from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and loves to share personal injury law with the world via social media platform TikTok at over 20,000 subscribers.