Car accidents are frightening to be involved in, whether you think they’re your fault or not. Because of this, it can be easy to forget what to do in the moment. Try to study the things you should do and not do so you’re prepared if you’re ever involved in one. Here are four things you should do after being involved in an accident.
1. Determine Whether You Need Legal Assistance
You don’t always need to consult an accident attorney, but it’s important to know when you do. An attorney may be necessary if you sustain injuries or lose income as a result of the accident, in which case you may work with a lawyer to file a lawsuit. Contacting an attorney may also be required if the accident is your fault and you become the defendant in a civil or criminal case.
2. Provide As Much Information As Possible to Your Insurance Provider
Exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident and document the scene. You can take pictures or notes on the scene to include when you contact your insurance provider. Giving your insurance provider as much documentation of the scene as possible will help your agent accurately assess the damage and relative fault of each driver. This is important because it’s how your insurance provider determines how much compensation you’re able to receive to help pay for various costs involved in the aftermath, such as medical bills or car repairs.
3. Visit Your Doctor
Accidents can range from minor fender benders to serious major accidents. If your accident is serious enough, you will likely be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. If your accident is less serious, but still caused you to sustain injuries, you will likely still need to go to the hospital but may be able to take yourself there. However, even small accidents can cause injuries. Even if you don’t think you sustained injuries, you should still visit your doctor for a thorough examination to ensure you haven’t developed conditions such as whiplash or injuries to the spine or head.
4. Get the Damage To Your Vehicle Appraised
If your car is drivable after your accident, you should make an appointment to get the damage appraised and repaired as soon as possible. Cars that seem fine after accidents may still have internal damage that can put drivers and passengers in danger. If you need a tow truck, you can request that the car be towed to a specific garage. In some cases, a vehicle may be repairable, but in others it may be considered totaled, or unable to be salvaged. Your insurance provider will be able to help you cover the repair or replacement costs.
The most important thing to keep in mind after an accident is your safety and the safety of anyone else involved. Once you determine whether emergency medical attention is needed, you can proceed to other steps such as getting your car off the road if you can, calling the police and inspecting the damage.