Being in a car accident – even a minor one – can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience. In the moment, with all the adrenalin that is pumping through your body, you may not be thinking clearly, and you may not know exactly what to do. So, taking the time to review the steps you should take after a car accident is important – and it’s essential to do that before you are in that situation.
Here’s what you need to know.
Secure and stop your vehicle
After the accident, you will need to ensure your vehicle is stopped and the ignition is turned off. Vehicles involved in a collision may leak fluids, so all vehicles involved must be turned off to avoid further damages or injuries.
Find out if anyone is seriously hurt
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident (which will be determined later through the investigation), if someone is seriously hurt, they will need medical attention right away. If you can, check-in on the drivers and passengers of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident and see if everyone is ok. If anyone is injured, call 911 right away to get medical attention immediately.
Report the accident
If the accident caused more than $2,000 worth of damage, you will need to report it. When you call 911, the dispatcher may send a police officer out to the location to take the report – especially if someone is hurt – but they may direct you to the closest accident reporting centre to document the accident.
While you are still at the collision scene, you will also want to take pictures of the accident before emergency services (or you, if it’s safe to do so) move anything. Taking photographs is important because insurance may ask for pictures to assess the claim and determine fault.
Move your vehicle
If your car is still driveable, you will need to move it off the road. You might need to get it towed to the reporting station or a repair facility, but as accidents often disrupt traffic, you should move your vehicle off the road to allow the flow of traffic to return.
Get the other drivers’ information
Before leaving, you will need to get the information of the other drivers involved in the accident. It’s recommended you take pictures of their license and their proof of insurance, along with the license plate of the vehicle involved in the accident. Additionally, you should ask them for their phone number so that you can contact them if you need to. Your insurance company may also ask you to provide this information.
Report the accident to your insurance company
As soon as possible, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company so they can start processing the claim. They will ask you for the incident number from the police reporting station as well. They might give you directions to take your vehicle to one of their approved repair facilities or may allow you to choose where your vehicle goes.
What to do if you have been hurt in the accident
If you were seriously injured in the accident, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a personal injury lawyer. Even if you think the injury isn’t that bad or the accident was your fault, getting everything into a report may help you in the future if there ends up being complications or if you have to file a disability claim with your insurance.
Contact Hoffman Law today
If you have been injured in a car accident, our personal injury team can help you determine whether you’re entitled to compensation. Contact Hoffman Law today for a free consultation and to get the process started.