Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful event. It may be hard to think clearly and remember what to do immediately after a car accident happens. In the event of a car accident, there are some important things to remember:
1. Stop immediately and do not leave the scene of a car accident. Without endangering others or obstructing traffic, stop your vehicle as soon as you can. Don’t leave the scene of a car accident unless injuries force you to do otherwise.
2. Keep calm and think about your safety. Your first priority is to keep calm and consider the safety of everyone involved in the car accident to prevent more collisions or injuries. Move to a safe location if you are concerned about your safety. Do not get do not get out of your car unless it is safe. Ask everyone involved in the car accident if they are okay.
3. Call 911. After the car accident, the other driver involved might not want to call the police and may want to settle things between just the two of you. Ignore their request and call the police, even if it’s just a minor car accident, because:
1) In most states you are required to call the police by law after a car accident.
2) An official police report is one of the most credible documents the insurers will use to determine fault.
3) Officers are trained at detecting staged a car accident and can help protect you from fraud.
4) Emotions can run high after a car accident, and a police presence can be there to act as an impartial referee can make sure that things don’t get too heated.
4. Listen to the police and follow their instructions. Police officers are trained to handle various situations that might happen after a car accident. Even though you may not think are physically injured, you may be in shock, and your emotions may make it hard to think clearly. A police officer can assess the situation and determine if medical assistance is required.
5. Exchange information. Give the other drivers involved in the car accident and the police the following information: your name, driver’s license and insurance information.
6. Be polite, but don’t discuss who is at fault with other parties. The law does not require you to admit fault, and you should not blame or acknowledge guilt at the scene of the car accident.
7. If there are any witnesses, get their name and contact information. Ask for a brief summary of what they saw and take notes.
8. Take notes immediately. Thinks may be chaotic after a car accident, and it can be difficult to remember things later. Take written notes as soon as possible after the car accident, and be as specific as possible. Use your cell phone to take pictures and document the car accident. The more pictures, the better.
9. Report your claim. Many state laws require that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, property damage in excess of $1500, or the towing of any vehicle, must file an official accident report with the state within 72 hours after the accident.
10. Arrange your car accident repairs. If your car requires auto body repair after your car accident, we recommend that you find a good auto body shop near you. At Carwise.com, you can find an auto body shop with real customer reviews and ratings. You can also track your car’s repair status through the Carwise website or mobile app if your vehicle is being repaired at one of the shops in our network of auto body shops.