A car crash can happen to even the best driver. There are around six million car accidents in the U.S. each year, so the odds aren’t exactly in our favor.
There are things that you need to do in the moments right after the crash and after you’ve made it home safely. Here’s the thing — they can be hard to remember even in the best circumstances. After a crash, everything can be a blur.
We’ve put together a quick guide to help you out. If you’ve been in a car accident and aren’t quite sure what you need to do next, read on.
Table of Contents
This is simple but important. If you don’t stop after an accident, you could get in serious legal trouble.
What could have been just a simple fender-bender now becomes a hit-and-run case?
If you’re involved in an accident, make sure you stop your car and cut the engine. If your car is stopped in an unsafe place, you can move it — but you usually want to keep the scene intact.
2. Get the Other Person’s Information
Your next step should be to gather the other person’s information. You’re going to need to know their name, address, and their phone number. This will help for insurance purposes, but it also helps to make sure you can contact them if needed.
In addition to their contact info, you should always write down their insurance company, their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and the license plate number.
3. Take Photos
It’s important to document everything that you can, especially if you weren’t the driver at fault. Your insurance company wasn’t at the accident site with you so photos will be part of how you build your case.
If there’s any question of fault, you’ll want pictures of exactly how your cars looked at the scene. This will also help you document the damage to your car.
4. File an Accident Report
Just like how you can get in trouble for not stopping at the scene of an accident, you can also be in hot water for not notifying the police. In some states, it’s legally required.
Even if it’s not required in your area, it’s still a good idea to have a legal accident report on file.
5. Make an Insurance Claim
Finally, the last thing you should do is file an insurance claim. After all, this is what your insurance is there for!
Filing a claim with your insurance will help cover repair costs and any medical attention you might need after the crash. Double check your policy to see how long you have after a crash to file a claim.
You might also want to hire a car accident attorney to make sure that you get the money you’re owed after a crash.
Know What to Do After a Car Crash
No one wants to be in a car crash, and they especially don’t want the added headache of figuring out what comes next. If you remember the five things in this guide, you’ll be set.
That’s one less thing to worry about.
Be prepared no matter what life throws your way — check out more of our law & legal blog posts.