Every year, around 6 million car accidents occur in the United States. Odds are, at some point in your life, you’ll be involved in a vehicle accident — whether as a driver or passenger.
But, do you know what to do in the moments after an accident? Your heart rate will be raised and the adrenaline will be flowing. Instead of panicking, take a deep breath and attempt to remain calm.
Keep reading to discover the most important things you need to do directly after a car wreck occurs.
Report It to the Police
The very first thing to do after a car accident is to report it to the police — no matter how minor the accident may seem.
When an accident occurs, police officers will come out to the scene to evaluate the damage. They will create a police report with all the necessary details. In addition, they’ll see if medical attention is necessary and reroute traffic around the accident if necessary.
If you fail to report an accident, an accident report won’t be filed. This can cause serious issues when trying to receive compensation related to the accident.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
After a car wreck occurs, everything will be moving very quickly. but, before you start moving your vehicle or cleaning up the scene, make sure to document the scene.
Take photographs of all the vehicles involved and the entire scene. From there, gather contact information for everyone involved in the accident, witnesses, and the responding officer.
This evidence will help you later when filing your insurance claim and narrowing down the causes of car accidents. Without evidence, it will be hard to prove who was at fault and the exact damage that occurred.
If you are too injured to gather evidence yourself, assign a passenger to gather the evidence for you. Or, you can contact the responding office after the accident and ask for copies of their evidence for your records.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve left the scene of the accident, you can now start to worry about the next steps. One of the most important steps is to report the accident to your insurance company.
Call your insurance agent and let them know what happened as soon as possible. They will advise you on the next steps you’ll need to take for your insurance claim. This could include providing the evidence you gathered and seeking estimates for your vehicle damage.
Don’t forget to keep every document related to your accident. This includes communication with your insurance agent, vehicle damage estimates, and any medical records related to the accident.
Be Prepared Before You’re Involved in a Car Wreck
After reading this article, you’re better prepared in case you ever find yourself involved in a car wreck.
The very first thing you need to do is report the accident to the police — no matter how minor the accident may seem. Then, gather evidence at the scene including photographs of the vehicles and the contact information for everyone involved. Finally, you need to inform your insurance company about the accident and start the claim process.
Looking to be prepared for other emergency occurrences with your car? Be sure to browse the articles on the Automotive section of this site.