Ten Commandments: Things to Do After a Car Accident
What you do after a car accident can determine whether you will later receive compensation for your injuries. Therefore, here’s a list of what you should do after a car crash.
- Report the accident to the police. Do so while still at the scene.
- Obtain the other party’s information. These include name, address, and phone number. Also email, driver’s license number, car insurer and policy number from their insurance card.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene. Capture any skidmarks, guardrail damage, etc. Also photograph your injuries. And any damage to all cars involved, as well as any video cameras pointing at the scene. (Surveillance footage may need to be ordered ASAP.)
- Obtain any witness’s information. This includes name, address, phone number, and email.
- Get immediate treatment for any injuries. Don’t be a hero. Call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room.
- Tell the police what happened. Truthfully tell just the facts. But do not discuss what happened with the other driver, do not apologize, don’t argue and don’t become overly emotional.
- Locate your car insurance summary page and policy. Then report the accident to your car insurance company.
- Ask for and keep copies of all paperwork. These include police reports, hospital reports, prescriptions, and medical reports. Write down the name and address of all medical providers.
- Don’t discuss the case with anyone else. Especially with the other driver’s insurer. Anything you say may be held against you. Accordingly, don’t sign anything without consulting a lawyer first. (You can sign medical consent forms necessary to get treatment needed immediately.)
- Call a car accident attorney. As soon as you are able to. Preferably not later than when you leave the emergency room.
If you follow these ten steps exactly after having a car accident your lawyer will be able to represent you with fewer possible complications. You can also read a more detailed explanation of what to do after a car accident here.