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Steps To Take After A Car Accident

Experiencing a car accident can be one of the most disorienting and stressful moments in a person’s life. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a more serious collision, knowing the proper steps to take immediately after the incident can make a significant difference in the recovery process, both physically and financially. Our friends at Barry P. Goldberg understand the turmoil and confusion that can follow an accident. With their guidance, we’ve compiled a detailed list of actions to help you manage the aftermath of a car accident effectively.

Stay Calm And Assess The Situation

The immediate moments after a car accident are crucial. It’s vital to stay calm and quickly assess whether anyone is injured. Prioritize safety above all else; if the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move vehicles to a safe location if possible. However, if there are any injuries, even minor, it’s essential to call emergency services right away to ensure everyone receives the necessary medical attention.

Call The Police

Even for minor accidents, it’s important to call the police. A police report serves as an impartial third-party account of the accident, which can be invaluable when filing insurance claims or if any legal issues arise. The report will include details of the accident, witness statements, and an initial assessment of fault, which can all serve as critical evidence in your favor.

Exchange Information

Exchange names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration numbers with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, their contact information can also be invaluable should further verification of the accident’s details be needed.

Document The Scene

Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible damages, license plates, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs. This visual evidence can provide crucial context and details that may not be captured in the police report.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Providing them with the police report number, photos, and your account of the incident will help streamline the claims process. It’s important to be honest and detailed with your insurance company but refrain from admitting fault or liability at this stage.

Seek Medical Attention

Sometimes, injuries caused by car accidents aren’t immediately apparent. Symptoms of certain injuries may take days to appear. Therefore, it’s advisable to see a doctor or healthcare professional soon after the accident, even if you feel fine. This not only ensures your well-being but also establishes a medical record that can be crucial if you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries.

Keep Detailed Records

Start a file for your accident that includes the police report, exchange information, correspondence with your insurance company, medical records, receipts for any expenses incurred due to the accident (like towing or rental cars), and a log of any related phone calls or emails. This organized documentation will be invaluable as you navigate the aftermath of the accident.

Consider Legal Advice

Even with straightforward accidents, insurance claims can become complicated. Consulting with your auto accident lawyer can provide clarity and direction, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries. 

Time is of the essence after your car accident. Don’t hesitate to lawyer up and get started on your next steps.