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The Steps to Take After a Car Accident: A Complete Checklist

by Purva Jagtap
The Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Looking for what’s next after a car accident?

Millions of Americans get injured each year because of vehicular accidents. It’s why having an idea of the steps to take after a car accident is essential. It prevents further injuries and secures your finances.

To start, read the rest of our guide. It’s a simple car accident checklist for your protection. Learn more:

  1. Car Wreck Scene Checklist

After a car wreck happens, knowing what to do is paramount. You must know the right questions to ask the other party involved. It’s critical to your insurance claim.

It’s better to review our checklist and print it. Keep a copy in your car for easy access after an accident happens.

Determine the Damage and Injury Extent

Check whether you or the other involved party needs urgent medical attention. Whenever possible, avoid moving the vehicle wrecks. The only exception is when it’s causing a major traffic problem.

Otherwise, wait for the police response before you move anything.

Call the Police

Regardless of the accident’s severity, you must make a legal accident report. Do it even when no one sustained serious injuries. Some insurance companies need police reports before filing a claim.

Avoid Detailed Conversations With the Other Party

Limit your discussion with the other involved driver. Never admit any liability or fault when talking about the accident. Be more descriptive when you’re talking to the police, medical experts, and your insurance provider.

Get Car Accident Facts

Having the accident’s facts seem obvious for most people. However, the stress of the car crash often causes them to forget. It’s a fatal mistake you can’t afford.

Get the names, addresses, and contact details of every involved party. The car’s description and license plate number are helpful. It’s more important to get their car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and insurance provider.

It’s a common misconception that insurance companies use license plate numbers. In truth, most only record the car’s type and the VIN. Never assume anything and get as much information as possible.

  1. Car Accident Information Checklist

To file a proper insurance claim, information is necessary. It means knowing what happened, the other drivers involved, and their insurance information. We’ll cover these in the following sections:

Car Accident Form

To prepare for an accident, get a car accident form. It’s the document for collecting data from an accident scene. You can get these forms from the local police station or DMV.

Each state uses a different form. Fill this out as soon as possible to avoid forgetting crucial details.

Information About the Other Driver

After the accident happens, have the presence of mind to collect information. Get the other driver’s name, address, and contact information. Have a pen and paper handy in a secure compartment in your car.

Get their insurance information while sticking to the basics. Ask for their proof of insurance card. You’ll see their provider and insurance policy number.

After that, get their vehicle description. Take note of the brand, model, and year. When you can, use your smartphone to take photos for your record.

Information About the Incident

Foremost, record the date, time, and approximate address of the accident. It’s best to determine the road and the nearest cross-street. Take note of your car and the other’s traveling directions.

Write your account of the incidents as soon as possible. It helps to ensure the memory is fresh. If you can’t write, use your phone and record yourself telling all the major details.

Jot down all necessary driving conditions like visibility and weather. If people witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact details.

Once the police respond, ask for their details. It includes their name, badge number, and other relevant contact information.

  1. Accident Report Exclusions

When making an accident report, never discuss fault. The other involved parties must never know about this subject. Your feelings and activities during the accident aren’t part of their concern.

It matters not whether you feel you’re in the wrong. Don’t accept or indicate responsibility. It will save you from a lot of grief later.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you’re able, call your insurance company’s emergency claims hotline. It’s best to do it while you’re on the scene. It’s useful when you’re filing an accident claim.

If you’re too upset by the situation, let the police officer speak. They’re more level-headed. They can give your insurance company a more accurate account.

However, give the officers your account of the incident. If you’re unsure of certain facts, tell them. Never speculate, guess, or assume facts.

When the officers ask for injuries and you’re unsure, tell them your doubts. Never say no. Often, the pain and injuries from vehicular accidents manifest hours after the incident.

  1. Get Medical Help

Sometimes, it takes the pain a day or two to manifest. It’s common for minor accidents. Go to a local emergency room immediately after reporting to your insurance provider.

  1. Contact Your Lawyer

Consult your attorney after the accident. They’ll help preserve your rights and ensure the integrity of the evidence. Most insurance companies want statements as soon as the accident happens.

Before giving a statement, get legal advice. Your attorney has the knowledge to give sound advice on various issues. It ensures your vehicle gets full compensation and you get the best available treatment options.

A car accident lawyer only receives legal fees after they help recover compensation for your injuries. It’s because they work based on contingency fees. To better understand their services, read more about this personal injury attorney.

Remember the Steps to Take After a Car Accident

With this comprehensive checklist, you’ll have a concrete idea of the steps to take after a car accident. Internalize them to ensure your insurance claim succeeds.

Are you looking for more valuable tips and tricks? Check out the rest of our posts for more guides that can help.

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