Car accident of a white van crashed into a black sedan

What to Do After a Car Accident

List of Things You Must Do After Getting into a Collision

Whenever you get behind the wheel, there is always a risk of getting into a collision. Regardless if you are a new or seasoned driver, you need to know what to do after a car accident occurs.

[ READ MORE: Why Driving Below the Speed Limit is Dangerous ]

Stay at the Scene

First and foremost, you should never flee the scene of an accident if you are involved. Doing so is a crime and will land you in jail and/or cost you a hefty fine.

Car accident of a front-end collision

Check for Injuries

Before you do anything, you should see if you or your passengers need immediate medical attention. If you have neck or back pain as a result of the crash, stay where you are and wait for first responders. If you aren’t too injured to move, check on the injuries of your passengers.

Get to a Safe Location if Needed and Able

If you are in a dangerous spot and the accident is minor, you will need to move your vehicle away from traffic. Pull over to a safe location, turn off your vehicle, and switch on your hazard lights.

Check on the Other Drivers and Passengers

While you and your passengers may have been uninjured, drivers and passengers in other vehicles that were involved may not be. See if they require medical attention.

Call 911

Even if no one is injured, you will still need to get first responders to the scene. Police reports will be helpful when it is time to contact the insurance company and the police can help make sure that traffic knows to slow down.

Stay Calm

Major or minor, car accidents will create a lot of anger, confusion, and frustration. Keep your emotions in check by staying as calm as you can, especially when speaking to first responders, police, or other drivers.

Person using a smartphone to take a picture of a car accident

Collect Information and Document the Crash

For insurance purposes, it’s important to collect information and document the crash. When speaking with other involved parties, exchange names, contact information, insurance company, insurance policy numbers, vehicle descriptions (make, model, year), and license plate numbers. Avoid talking about who is at fault for the crash as the person reviewing the claim will do that based on information provided by you, the other parties, the damage caused, and the police reports.

Also, make sure to take pictures of any damage you see on each vehicle involved from multiple angles, including the license plates of the other vehicles. The more you can support what happened, the better.

File a Claim with Your Insurance Company

Using the information you’ve gathered, file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Many companies offer the option to complete this work online.

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