1. Find Out if Someone is Injured
Never leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor. Security is the most important; the rest can wait.
Make sure everyone is okay and get medical attention if you or someone else needs it.
2. Find a Safe Place for You and Your Vehicle
If you are not injured and the accident was minor, drive your car very carefully until you leave it on the side of the road so that it does not interfere with traffic.
Keep your hazard lights on and post flares or reflective triangles to draw the attention of other drivers to slow down.
But if the accident was more serious, or if someone is injured, leave the vehicles where they are.
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, you should be careful when getting out of the car, especially if you’re on a busy road or highway.
You may not be thinking logically at the moment, which can put you in danger.
3. Alert the Police
While it is important to report the accident, in some areas the police may not come to the scene of the accident if the collision was minor.
Some police entities, instead of using their resources to go to the scene of the accident, now prefer to receive the report online.
If a police officer goes to the scene of the accident, write down their name, their identification number, and their contact information.
Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report.
If the police do not show up, you can request a copy of the report from the appropriate police authority or the insurance adjuster handling your claim.
4. Collect Important Information
Use your cell phone camera to take photos of documents or, with paper and pencil, write down the name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number of each person involved in the accident.
If the driver’s name does not match the name on the car registration or insurance documents, find out what their relationship is to the owner of the vehicle.
Find out if there are any witnesses who are willing to give you their contact details and tell you what they saw.
5. Document the Place of the Accident
Document the description of the accident in as much detail as possible.
For that, you can use your smartphone to take photos and record videos and voice memos.
The easiest thing is to take a photo of the entire car, as well as close-up photos showing the damage, both to your vehicle and to the other person’s.
6. Call the Insurer
It may be tempting to negotiate a cash deal to avoid the insurance claim.
But if you don’t notify your insurer after an accident, you could end up being held liable for damages.
If the other person’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your damages, your insurance agent can check your policy to see if you have any coverage for that situation.
7. Go to the Doctor
You may feel perfectly fine after the accident, but some injuries may take a day or two to manifest.
Even a minor crash can cause serious head, spinal, or back injuries.
If you feel pain or notice unusual symptoms, see a doctor.
Injuries resulting from a car accident are usually included in your auto insurance claim, so it’s important to document any bodily injury from the accident and call an injury attorney to represent you.
8. Be Proactive and Consult an Attorney.
If you have prepared well, it is easier to remain calm after an accident.
Always consult with an injury attorney with extensive experience in car accident cases, so you will have more confidence that the insurers will treat you fairly and that you will obtain compensation for the damages caused.