There are 5 steps to take after an auto accident because, accidents are not planned. They can happen to anyone at any time and the effects may last a lifetime. What can be planned are the immediate 5 steps to take after an auto accident occurs. Following these steps after a crash can lead to a quicker recovery and better outcome for you (and your vehicle).
- Get to safety.
If you are able, get out of the line of traffic, turn on your hazard lights and call 911.
- Contact authorities and get a copy of the police report.
Even if the wreck is minor and there does not appear to be any injuries, contact the police to ensure all details and information are documented accurately. You never know if there will be future ramifications that aren’t apparent at the scene of the accident especially if drugs or alcohol were involved. Injury and damage caused while using substances is on the rise due to many factors but in the end is costly for everyone. Obtaining a copy of the police report will support your insurance claim and provide proof of your rights to receive medical and vehicle repair reimbursements. It may cost a nominal fee for a police report.
- Exchange information & notify the insurance companies.
Even if no one is injured but there’s damage to your vehicle, the insurance company will be involved. It is imperative to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Significant damage and/or injuries mean that everything will need to go through each of your insurance companies in order to determine who will pay for what.
- Take photos and Document activity.
Cell phones are handy devices to snap photos of both the damage to the vehicle(s), all surroundings at the scene of the accident and, to take notes of any issues that arise as a result of the accident. Evidence will need to be documented and chronicled for future purposes. This will include a police report or insurance company report. Photos and notes will come in handy regardless of who’s at fault. The more documentation you can present a lawyer, the stronger your case will be.
- Contact a Lawyer.
Insurance companies know the law and are experts at trying to convince injured individuals they do not need legal representation. They do this in an effort to resolve claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Lost wages and medical bills are not the only losses covered. Contacting a lawyer sooner than later will assure all your legally covered damages are presented to the insurance company.