What to Do After a Car Accident: 7 Steps to Take Immediately
Unfortunately, there are over 6 million car accidents each year in the United States. Many of these are also serious collisions that result in injury or property damage. Regardless of how serious the situation is essential to know what to do after a car accident.
We've put together a brief guide full of key information. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about how to handle a car accident.
1. Get to Safety
If you can, move your car to the side of the road or to a safe location away from traffic.
If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen in dangerous locations, like the middle of a busy highway. In these cases, it’s best to stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.
2. Check For Injuries
Once you are in a safe location, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
It's also important to call 911 if you suspect that the other driver may be injured, even if they seem fine.
3. Gather Information
Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver (or drivers) involved in the accident.
You will also need to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. If possible, take photos of the damage to both vehicles as well as the scene of the accident.
4. Get Medical Attention
If you or anyone in your vehicle was injured in the accident, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s always best to get checked out by a doctor. This is one of the most important steps to take after a vehicle accident, so don't neglect it. It's important to see a doctor and gather medical records of your auto accident-related injuries.
5. Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible after the accident, call your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will likely ask you for the same information that you gathered in the previous step. Be sure to answer questions honestly, but stick to the hard facts.
6. Keep Track of Expenses
If you were injured in the accident, keep track of all medical expenses as well as any other expenses that are a result of the accident (for example, car repairs, towing fees, etc.).
If you have to miss work due to your injuries, be sure to keep track of lost wages as well. This info may come into play later.
7. Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer
If you were seriously injured in the accident or if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may want to consider talking to a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Don't hesitate to consult a car accident lawyer about your case.
What Are Common Injuries People Experience?
Neck pain and stiffness, headaches, back injuries, and broken bones are some of the more common injuries people experience after a car accident.
However, there is a wide range of possible injuries that can occur, so it’s always best to see a doctor after an accident even if you feel fine. It's possible for certain conditions, such as whiplash, to take days or even weeks to develop.
What Are Some Tips For Preventing Car Accidents?
There are several things you can do to help prevent car accidents from happening in the first place. First and foremost, always practice good safety habits when behind the wheel.
This includes things like wearing your seatbelt, obeying the speed limit, and not driving while distracted. Additionally, make sure your car is in good working condition and that you are familiar with the rules of the road. Finally, be aware of your surroundings and always drive defensively.
This means being prepared for other drivers who may not be following the rules of the road.
What Should I Look For in a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you’re considering hiring an attorney after a car accident, it’s important to find someone who has experience handling these types of cases. You should also look for an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state and who you feel comfortable working with.
When meeting with potential attorneys, be sure to ask about their experience, their success rate, and their fees.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, you may still be able to get compensation for your damages through your own insurance company.
However, it’s important to check your policy first to see if you have this coverage. If you do not have this coverage, you may still be able to sue the other driver for your damages, but it will likely be a more difficult process. In the case you need to sue the other driver, hiring a car accident lawyer is crucial.
What if the Other Driver Is at Fault?
If the other driver is at fault for the accident, they will likely be responsible for any damages you incur.
This includes things like medical expenses, car repairs, and lost wages. In some states, the other driver may also be responsible for pain and suffering damages. If you are not sure who is at fault for the accident, you should speak to a car accident attorney.
Knowing What to Do After a Car Accident Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
It might seem difficult at first to know what to do after a car accident, but it's easier than you might expect it to be. Ensure that you keep the above guidelines in mind so you can avoid problems you may have encountered.
Alpha Accident Lawyers is here to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about your legal options.