Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

The first thing you should do is check yourself and anyone else involved for injuries. If there are any, call 911.

Next, take pictures with your phone from different angles of the accident scene including the positioning of the cars and their damage. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.

Call 911

If someone is injured or there is a lot of damage, it’s important to call 911. Even if you think the injuries are minor, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have an expert determine whether there are any hidden complications. Injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, concussions and internal bleeding are not always immediately obvious.

If you can, pull your car over to a spot away from traffic, such as on the side of the road or on a sidewalk. This will prevent other cars from driving into the crash site, which could potentially lead to secondary accidents and further injury.

Before police arrive, make sure to take pictures of the accident scene with your cellphone camera. Take close-up pictures of the vehicles, including license plates and damage, as well as more distant photos of the entire scene. Also, try to talk to any witnesses and ask for their contact information.

However, it’s important to remember that whatever you say at the scene of the crash may be used against you later on in court. Avoid saying things like, “I’m sorry,” or admitting any responsibility for the accident, no matter how minor you think it is. You should also be careful not to offer information regarding your insurance policy coverage, which can potentially compromise your claim. Also, never move young children, pets or disabled adults from their car seats; they might have injuries you can’t see.

Exchange Information

In addition to providing information to the police officers, make sure you get all the necessary information from other drivers involved in the accident. This includes name, address, driver’s license number and insurance company (including policy number), vehicle model, plate number and owner of the car if it isn’t the driver. It is also a good idea to get the names and contact numbers of any witnesses, according to Passmore. Witness testimony can be invaluable to a successful insurance claim.

It is important to remember that if you leave the scene of an accident without reporting it to the police, you may be subject to criminal penalties, including fines and even a possible license suspension or jail time. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit and run, even if it seems minor to you.

If the other driver tries to rush you through exchanging information, insist on taking your time to verify that the information is correct. It is a good idea to use your smartphone’s camera, video and voice memo features for this purpose, as this will help you avoid errors that could come back to haunt you in the future. Inquire about the police report, if possible, and be sure to get a copy once it is written. Insurance adjusters will use this report to determine fault and how much money you will receive for repairs or replacement of your car.

Take Pictures

The first thing you should do when you are in an accident is take pictures. The more photographic evidence you have, the better, especially if there is a dispute about the accident later on.

Taking photographs from different angles is important as well. This will provide a good idea of the overall scene, such as any damage to your vehicle or the other car, skid marks on the road, weather conditions, and so on. You should also try to capture a wide range of items that are in the area, such as traffic signals, signs and street markings, and any other elements that might help provide context to the scene.

It is essential to take pictures right away, because the scenes of accidents change quickly. Even if you think that something is a certain way, by the time you return to take photos, it may look completely different due to things like lighting or weather.

If you are not able to take pictures yourself (because of your injuries, for example), ask someone else who is able to do so. You should never skip this step, as it is a crucial part of proving your case. This is why it is so important to always carry your camera phone with you, as this can be used immediately after a crash. It can help you capture details that could be forgotten as the day progresses, such as the make and model of a car, a license plate number, or even the badge of responding police officers.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The best time to call your insurance company is as soon as possible after the accident. It will help you make a record of the crash before your memories fade and will also keep the other driver from changing his or her story later to implicate you to some degree. Most car insurance policies require notice within a certain time frame.

When speaking to the insurance company, be careful of what you say. Never admit guilt, blame or anything that could damage your case. Likewise, don’t give recorded statements to the insurance company without consulting with your attorney first. Make sure to notify car accident lawyer Milwaukee as they are a formidable institution that can help you in these kind of situations. Those statements can be used to deny your claim or to minimize the amount you receive for damages.

In addition, it’s important to report the accident to law enforcement so they can create an official police report. This will provide a documented record of the accident that will be valuable in the claim process, says Holeman. It’s also a good idea to get the names and contact information for any witnesses, which can also be useful to support your version of the accident.

It is also a good idea to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, even if you feel fine. Some injuries don’t appear right away or may not show up until days or weeks after the crash. This way, a doctor can make sure you are okay and document your injuries with a medical report.

Report the Accident to the Police

If there is any kind of injury or damage involved in the crash, it’s important to call the police. The police will be able to create an official accident report which can be used for insurance purposes. Without a police report, the other driver may change his or her story later on which could hurt your case.

In addition, you are legally obligated to call the police even in a minor accident. This will allow the police to take statements from witnesses and perform an inspection of the scene to help determine who was responsible for the accident.

It’s also a good idea to call the police if there are any children, pets or disabled adults in your vehicle. This way, you can be sure that they are not left in a hot car after the accident.

Once the police have arrived, you should give them all the information you have collected, including the names and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. You should also make note of the officer’s name, badge number and police report number if possible. You should also try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses who appear at the scene, as they may be able to provide valuable testimony later on. Once everything is settled, you should get your car out of the road as much as possible so that it does not create a traffic hazard.

Contact an Attorney

If police officers come to the scene, ask them to create an official accident report. This will help prevent the other driver from changing their story later and it will be an important document for your insurance company to review.

Use your cell phone or a camera to take pictures of the cars, any skid marks or debris from the accident, and any visible injuries. Make sure to do this from several angles, if possible and safe to do so. You should also note the names, addresses, phone numbers and basic insurance policy information of everyone involved in the accident. It’s also a good idea to get the name, badge number and contact information of any police officers that arrive on the scene.

It is important to stay calm and avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as admitting fault or blaming the other driver for the accident. It is best to have a lawyer speak on your behalf to the other driver’s insurance representative or to their attorney.

You should also find out if the other driver has medical payments coverage in their insurance policy. This is typically called “medpay.” Medpay covers hospital bills, doctor visits and other expenses for injury-related treatment. However, your personal health insurance should be the primary source for paying your medical bills once medpay is exhausted. Keep a file of all accident-related documents and receipts for any expense you incur.