Car accidents aren’t something most of really want to plan for. However, it’s important to know what you should do following a vehicle collision to ensure your financial safety. Today, we are going to look at five important things you should do after being involved in a vehicle accident so you can start preparing, just in case.
1.) Call the Police
This is the most important first step you can take in the aftermath of a collision. Contact the police and get them on the way to the scene. Police officers can help with traffic control, communication between you and the other driver, creating an accident report, and so much more.
When the officer arrives, they will interview both you and the other driver(s) that were involved in the collision. As a normal practice, the officer will verify if any of the drivers were under the influence and they may take pictures of the scene. Realize that anything you say or do while an officer is on-scene can be included in the accident report.
2.) Take Pictures
Almost everyone has a smart phone that is camera-enabled. If you don’t, simply ask a witness to use theirs. You want to take pictures of the accident scene, the cars, any injuries you incurred due to the accident, and any other relevant information you find. These pictures will come in handy later down the road if your case goes to court.
3.) Collect Information
You should get the other driver’s license number, contact information, and insurance information. Additionally, you should note the type of vehicle they were driving, its color, and license plate number. If there were other passengers in the vehicle, you should get their contact information as well.
If there were any witnesses, be sure to take down their information. Try to get a statement from each witness. You should politely ask them to stick around until the police arrive so they can give their first-hand account of what happened so the officer can include that account in their report.
4.) Recount the Accident
Using the camera on your smartphone, record a video of what you recounted from the accident in the minutes afterward. If you don’t have a phone on you, write it down on a piece of paper. Include details of where and when the accident took place, what the road conditions were like, how fast you were going, and any other relevant details you can recall at the moment. This will be a key piece of evidence you can come back to later to jog your memory about the events that took place.
5.) Inform the Insurance Company
You should contact your own insurance company regardless of whether you were at fault or not. This will allow them to record that information regarding the accident into their database in the event that you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company later. Next, if the accident wasn’t your fault you should contact the other insurance company. Always keep it simple and to the point. Realize that anything you say can be brought up against you later if the claim goes to court.
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, it can be hard to collect your thoughts about what to do. We highly encourage you to write down the five steps above and keep them in your glove box. This will ensure you always do the things you should do to make sure your accident claim goes as smoothly as possible.