The first few moments following a car accident can seem like a haze of confusion. Having a basic understanding of what to do if you find yourself in this situation can help you to navigate through this haze.
- Call 911. If anyone is injured, call for help. Make sure anyone that needs medical attention receives it. You may also need to call for a tow truck depending on the damage done to your vehicle.
- Discuss the accident with the police. Do not go into details about the accident with the other driver, passengers or anyone else. At this time, it is generally best to share this information only with the police. It is also helpful to get a copy of the police report, if possible.
- Document the details. Take photos on your phone of the accident scene. If possible, get pictures of the damage to vehicles. If you require medical attention, keep copies of any bills and diagnosis. Also keep copies of any bills for the cost to tow and repair your vehicle.
- Contact insurance. Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as is feasible. Take the time to deal with the accident first, but once you get home and settle a bit, call your insurance company and fill them in.
In many cases, a fifth step is also recommended: call a lawyer.
This is especially true if you or a passenger was injured. In these cases, it is wise to seek legal representation to help hold the other driver accountable for his or her actions through a personal injury lawsuit. This can result in monetary awards to help cover the costs associated with the accident.