8 Crucial Steps To Take After A Car Accident

There are approximately six million car accidents in the U.S. every year. In your lifetime, you will most likely belong to this statistic several times. 

Since they occur at such a regular rate, it’s essential to know what to do after a car accident happens. Car accidents are stressful, and you may lack the ability to think on the spot to make smart choices.

So, what should you do after a car accident?

Keep reading for eight crucial steps to take after a car accident. Understanding these steps beforehand will ensure a safe and smooth process. 

1. Make Sure Everyone Is Okay

The first thing you should do after a car accident is to make sure no one is seriously injured. 

Check on yourself and the members of your vehicle first. An adrenaline rush can occur immediately after an accident, increasing your pain threshold. Closely observe your body for injuries before you get out of the car. Rule yourself out and then make sure everyone else involved is okay. 

2. Call the Police

Experts always advise calling the police after an accident.

If there are any significant injuries, immediately call 911 for an ambulance. If damages are minor, contact your local police department. They will file a police report to provide an official record of the accident. 

If the car accident damages are minor, the police officer will file an incident report. If the accident is severe, the officer will create an accident report to establish legal liabilities and assist in the insurance process. 

3. Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company directly after calling the police. Regardless of the severity of the accident, the process will move faster the sooner your insurance company is informed. 

A claim may not need to be filed if there is no significant damage. For example, if there is $500 worth of total damage and your deductible is $1000, it makes no sense to file a claim as it will increase your monthly premium.  

There are several cases where you will need to file a claim. These include:

  • Any car accident injuries
  • Significant damage to a car or property
  • A car is totaled
  • Police are unclear on who is to blame
  • Accident is your fault

An attorney will tell you to avoid acknowledging blame with your insurer. You can simply report the accident. 

4. Exchange Insurance Information

It’s critical in a car accident to gather insurance information from the other driver.

Write down the driver’s name, contact information, the insurance company, and policy number. If the other driver doesn’t have their insurance card with them at the scene, call their carrier to verify the coverage. 

Make sure to document as many details about the accident that you can. If possible, take photos of the surrounding area and any damage that occurred. 

5. Gather Witnesses

It’s crucial to gather information from anyone who may have witnessed the crash after a car accident.

Witnesses are often gone before the police arrive, so it may help to collect their contact information yourself.  Get their names, phone numbers, and any insights they may have at the scene of the accident. 

Eyewitnesses often provide vital information for the police report and help determine who is to blame for the crash. 

6. Keep Track of Repairs

It’s helpful to stay involved during the repair process when your car has been in an accident. Your insurance company will want the repairs done in the least expensive way possible. You don’t have to leave it all up to them.

You may not have many options regarding where your car is taken or how the damage is fixed, but you do have the right to make sure they put in the correct manufacturer parts. Check with the mechanic and your car manufacturer for more information on what they recommend. 

Check to see if your insurance company provides you with a rental car while yours is in the shop. Note the daily amount your insurer offers. You don’t want to be stuck with a surprise bill when you return the rental. 

7. Call a Car Accident Attorney

If you received medical care for injuries related to the accident, you might need to contact a car accident lawyer. 

Keep a record of doctor and hospital visits, as well as any prescribed medications or treatments. It will be helpful when hiring a lawyer to provide this information upfront. 

Choose an attorney for personal injury cases. They will have the necessary experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you’re entitled to after the accident. 

8. Look for Lower Insurance Rates

Your auto insurance policy rates are likely to increase after an accident that results in a claim. This increase is a great time to cancel your policy and shop around for a new one with lower rates. 

Do your research. Look for discounts and special coverage options like accident forgiveness. It probably won’t help with the previous accident but could be useful for any future altercations. 

Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Consider both national and regional carriers as there are benefits to both options.

Look for online insurance quotes and call an agent to learn more about possible discounts and extra coverage. 

Essential Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Car accidents are widespread and often come out of nowhere. If you find yourself involved in one, it can be an extremely stressful and confusing situation. The key is to know what to do before an accident happens. 

There are essential steps to take after a car accident to ensure you and your vehicle are adequately taken care of. Follow the steps and stay calm. 

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