On average, car accidents cause 3,287 deaths a day worldwide, which results in nearly 1.3 million deaths a year. So if you’re involved in a car accident, you’re not alone.
But right after a major car accident, it can be tough to know what to do. You’re often feeling traumatized and not thinking clearly.
However, there are some important things you should do right after. We’ve outlined the 7 most important items here. Read on to find out what they are.
1. Check for Any Injuries
First of all, check for injuries. Your physical health is the most important thing to think about at first.
Are you okay? Is anything hurting? How are the passengers in your car?
Also, consider the people in the other car. Are they okay as well?
Obviously, there are some injuries that are easy to spot. If these seem serious, call 911.
Sometimes, there are other injuries that aren’t so visible. If someone looks okay on the outside but they seem out of it, also call 911. These internal injuries can be dangerous as well.
2. Call the Police
No matter how small your accident seems, it’s always a good call to get the police involved. If it’s a minor accident, they’ll have you file a report at your local police station.
If it’s more serious, they’ll come to the scene of the accident and file the report themselves. In either case, make sure you provide every detail you can.
If you’re not sure whether or not you need the police to come, it’s recommended that you still call 911 and let the call-taker determine if you need emergency help.
Also, make sure you get a copy of the report once it’s completed. This will be very useful in case you go to court.
3. Document Your Major Car Accident
It’s also crucial that you document the accident. This is much easier now that people have smartphone cameras in their pockets. Make sure you start by taking pictures of all the cars involved.
Get close-up shots of specific areas of the cars that were damaged. Also be sure to get shots of the general area, especially of anything that contributed to the accident.
You’ll also want to note other information as well, in addition to pictures.
This includes detailed specifics about the date and time of the accident, as well as the address (or approximate address). Note the direction that you were traveling and the name of the road you were on as well.
What direction was the other car traveling in? What was the weather like, and was visibility impaired?
Write down any information about witnesses that saw the whole thing happen. Get their contact information and keep it safe.
If a police officer helped you in the process, get their name and contact information as well.
In addition to all this, dictate or write an account of the whole experience from your point of view. Be sure to do this as soon as possible after the crash before you forget important details.
All of this information is extremely important and will be very useful in the future.
4. Exchange Information with the Other Driver
It’s also crucial that you exchange information with the other driver involved in the collision. Even if it was a small thing and they say don’t want to get their insurance involved, be sure you still get their information.
You’ll want their full name, address, phone number, and email address. As far as insurance goes, get the name of their company and their policy number. This can be found on their proof of insurance card.
Also document the make, model, and year of their vehicle. You’ll also want their license plate number and their registration information.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
While you’re still at the scene of the accident, get in touch with your insurance company. That’s because the person on the other line will tell you what to do next. They’ll be able to help you start the claim filing process.
They have years of experience helping people do just that. They’ll also let you know what you shouldn’t do.
This includes signing any form that hasn’t been reviewed by the insurance company. You also shouldn’t admit guilt.
Your insurance company is your ally in this process, so make sure you rely on them.
6. Keep a Log
After you’ve left the scene, you should continue documenting the process. If you have car repairs, keep those receipts.
If you spend time in the hospital or visit a doctor, also keep track of all of those records. Maintain a copy of all the medical bills and documents.
The insurance company of the other driver may contact you. This will help the process move forward and get you the compensation you deserve.
Every time they call, keep a record of the details and refer them to your insurance adjuster. Keep things between them and don’t get involved.
7. Hire an Attorney
Last but not least, you should think about hiring an experienced attorney. In most cases, the insurance companies will handle the situation and figure out who is liable for the situation.
This usually results in a settlement. But sometimes, one party may want to go to court. In this case, you should work with an experienced attorney. At Alvarez Law Office, we have years of experience helping clients in these situations.
There you go: the 7 most important things you should do after a major car accident. It’s important to do these things as soon as possible.
For professional legal help, contact our team today. We’re happy to assist you. With years of experience, you can count on us.