The Ultimate Car Accident ChecklistThis Car Accident Checklist has helped lots of our clients!
Have You Been In A Car Accident and don’t know what to do next?
Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, and it’s easy to forget some details at the moment, even if you’ve heard them a million times before.
We have put together a list of checkpoints to make sure that you ensure your safety and also your best despite the hectic situation a car accident can entail.
What to Do After A Car Crash?
1 Call 911 or request an ambulance for seriously injured people.
9 Never speak to the other person’s insurance company without an attorney on your side.
So you’ve been in a car crash, this is what you should know to best handle the accident
Top priorities: Safety and Injuries
Remember that in stressful situations, and especially in an accident, there are two key things to keep in mind: 1) Despite how difficult it may be, try to stay calm 2) Your first priority is your safety and to protect yourself. The best thing to do when an accident occurs is to tend to any personal injuries first, and then request assistance from the proper department so other injured victims can get the proper care.
When you suffer a personal injury, you might be disoriented or in shock, which is why you should call for medical attention at the location of the accident. If you are in proper conditions yourself, see if other drivers or anyone involved has been injured and if you can, be the helping hand so they too can get medical attention.
That’s the first priority before considering your insurance claim, a lawyer, or getting the police involved. If that’s not the case, and nobody involved in the accident has injuries, then the first person you should contact is your insurer, and having the right lawyer by your side can also make everything easier.
After medical assistance is on the way, then you can focus on the other things that need to be done. These include making sure you, and your vehicle if possible, are out of the traffic and that the crash and scene of the accident can be easily noticed to avoid other drivers being caught off guard.
Dealing with insurance and the police
When you’re ready to make the proper calls, be sure to have your insurance information, vehicle details, and driver’s license at hand. Be sure to write down everything your insurance company says over the phone. If you are in a high-traffic area it may be safer to stay inside your vehicle, especially if you’re taking your time over the phone to make the corresponding claim, so keep that in mind.
Calling your auto insurance company is key to getting ahead on the accident, especially if the accident occurred due to some external factor or if there was another car or some other driver involved. Remember you’re only talking to your insurance company, no one elses’, but preferably with your lawyer present.
The scene of the accident will most likely be a chaotic area since every vehicle involved needs to stay present and follow up with a police officer for the police report. All the vehicles involved should be accounted for at the accident scene.
While motor vehicles can be easier to miss amid the chaos, being sure you get all driver’s license plate numbers and contact information is crucial for following up on the case if needed. It can also speed up a proper police report.
Keep in mind that if police forces have been called to the accident, they will take note of all the vehicles, and a lot of questions will be asked to understand who was at fault. The whole process can take a while, so be patient.
You must also get the badge number from the police officer providing assistance at the accident. The police report number will be then used for following up on the case, so it is helpful that you write it down or get the officer to give you a copy of the report if possible.
Get your backup
Aside from a lawyer, it is also a good idea to have someone there for you, especially if you’ve suffered a personal injury. If the accident scene is accessible try to get someone you trust there with you, to accompany you through the process and help you make the right decisions.
At the moment you may not need or want to file a claim with your insurance. If the accident is particularly small you may even pay cash right there and avoide the insurance process altogether. However, if you are filing a claim, you may be able to do it online afterward but make sure you talk that over with your insurer at the moment. Be sure to have everything regarding your insurance policy when doing this.
Many insurance companies have facilitated the process to file an insurance claim, either by contacting directly the insurance agent that assisted you or most likely you will be able to file a claim via an online portal.
If it applies to your case, be sure to include any property damage and injuries, when you file a claim. It is always best to verify with your insurance carrier all the steps you need to do for your accident report to get the process going and avoid any administrative hold-ups.
You’ve got this
Being involved in a car accident, especially if you were the driver, can be nerve-racking and you have to step away from the scene of the accident feeling confident about how you handled yourself. Even if it was your fault, this checklist and tips can help you manage everything in the best way possible.
Extra tips so you know how to best handle the details involving a car accident, and you’re always prepared
- Always keep something to write with in your car
- Do not admit fault regarding the accident when it wasn’t or without a lawyer present
- Make sure your car insurance company has your best interests at heart
- Note down all the details you can remember about the car accident as soon as possible, so you can easily recall the events for further insurance paperwork or filing a police report later on if it’s needed.
- Be sure to write down the other driver information (when it applies), and any bystanders’ details too
- Keep at least one copy of all your insurance information and your policy number in your car, where you can easily reach it
- Have an additional battery or charger for your phone so you can always communicate to the department you need. This is especially useful in case of injury
- Be sure to carry your driver’s license, and that it is properly renewed
- Set reminders for yourself to ensure the insurance policy on your car is up to date and valid
- Have first responders’ contact numbers on your phone, just in case
- To follow up on your claim, be sure to note down the details of all the officers, and people who assisted you
In the end, the most important matter is for you to be safe, protect yourself, and make as much damage control as possible. Whether it’s your fault and you were the driver, or not, an accident can happen at any time.
It’s always tough to make the right decisions on the spot, and knowing the best course of action can be confusing when everything’s going on. Having all the information at hand help, and we hope this information too.
We created this checklist and tips so you can have a step-by-step guide when involved with an accident and make administrative reports easier.
We are the law firm that can help you handle any accident, be sure to contact us for a free consultation, or with any questions you have!
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