Accidents happen – including car accidents. Whether it is your fault or someone else’s fault, accidents happen every single day. It can be scary getting into a car accident, no matter if it is a small fender bender or a major collision. There are a lot of emotions and thoughts bouncing through your head: shock, fear, anger. That is why knowing what to do after a car accident can help you and the other person involved.
What to Do After a Car Accident
No matter what, staying calm after a car accident can be the most helpful tool. The more upset you get, the more chaotic and difficult everything becomes. Staying calm also makes the post-accident process go smoother and quicker. This is the time to gather crucial information and start an insurance claim.
1. Check for Injuries
If you, the other driver or any passengers are injured, call the police and ask for an ambulance. Even minor wrecks can end with injuries, such as whiplash, cuts or concussions. If anyone is majorly injured, keep them where they are until the ambulance arrives. Moving a severely injured person could hurt them more.
2. Stay Where You Are
Always stay at the scene of the accident, no matter if it is your fault or not. In some states, it is illegal to move your car from the accident, so keep it where it is. Turn on your flashers to alert other drivers. You can also use a flashlight, flares or emergency cones, especially if it is dark.
If possible, everyone should try to move off the main road and stay on the sidewalk or shoulder.
3. Call the Police
Even if there are no injures, call the police. Police are vital during the post-accident process. They often write police reports, which you may need a copy of to file an insurance claim. Police can also determine if your vehicles need to be moved off the road or towed to a shop.
Most importantly, the police can determine who was at fault. Until the police arrive, do not talk to the other driver about who was at fault. Leave that to the police.
4. Talk to the Police
Once the police arrive, tell them everything you remember. However, do not start assigning fault. As mentioned above, let the police determine that. Instead, give facts about what happened; do not speculate or guess. Be as detailed as possible in your descriptions.
If you don’t remember specific details, that’s okay, but the officer needs to know that you don’t remember.
5. Exchange Information
You need to gather some information from the other driver, their passenger(s) and the police officer.
First, get the other driver’s name, address and phone number. Also record their driver’s license, license plate number, vehicle make/model/color/year and insurance information.
If the driver has any passengers, get their name and contact information.
Last, get the responding officer’s name, badge number, phone number and report number.
Again, do not talk to the other driver about fault during this time.
6. Document Everything
Document as much as possible about the wreck. Take pictures of the wreck, your vehicle, any damage and any visible injuries, such as whiplash or cuts. Note the location, date and time of the accident.
Write down the names of everyone involved, including witnesses.
If you have any dashcam footage, save that for the insurance company.
7. Call the Insurance Company
Once you are done talking to the police and exchanging information with the other driver, it is time to call your insurance company and report the accident.
This is also a good time to find out if you have any coverage for any medical bills in case you are injured.
8. Call European Collision Clinic
After talking to your insurance company, call European Collision Clinic. Though we specialize in European cars, we help cars of all makes and models after an accident. We work with your insurance company every step of the process, so you are never left uncovered. We offer towing and rental car services, and our in-house repair services are above par.
Contact European Collision Clinic today.