What to Do After a Car Accident: A Guide

Each year in America, there are approximately six million car accidents. That’s more than 16,000 a day. One-half, or three million, involve injuries. 

Believe it or not, what you do immediately after a car accident matters. With statistics like these, it’s essential to know the steps to take after an accident. 

Here is a quick guide to help you know what to do after a car accident.

  1. Be Calm

Keeping your cool after an accident is essential. It allows you to deal with the accident in a rational way. 

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  1. Check for Injuries

After you have taken a deep breath, check for injuries to yourself and your passengers. Call 911 if anyone for injuries in either vehicle.

If you can’t call, have a passenger call if applicable. It’s important not to move until help arrives if you’re injured. 

  1. Get Off the Road

The Insurance Information Institute (III) states you should clear the roadway, if possible.

Pull your car over to a safe spot on the side of the road. If the accident occurred at night, turn on your hazard lights. 

If you cannot move your car, get yourself and your passengers to safety. If you have an emergency roadside kit, be sure to use cones or flares to alert oncoming drivers. 

  1. Assess the Damage of Both Vehicles

If you’re not injured, take a moment to assess the damage to both vehicles. Take pictures of the scene and your car. This would be a good time to jot down any information you remember of the moments leading up to the accident.

Here are a few questions to answer:

  1. Where were you hit?
  2. What were the road conditions?
  3. Did the accident occur at day or night?
  4. What time and date did the accident happen? 

You may want to sketch out the intersection and where your cars were when the accident occurred. This information will be helpful for the police report and your attorney, should you need one. 

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  1. File a Police Report of the Accident

Depending on the severity of the accident, you may want to call the police. They will fill out a police report describing both party’s sides of the accident. You can request a copy of the police report for insurance purposes. 

This information can also be helpful for your lawyer should you need one. 

  1. Exchange Information With the Driver

It’s imperative to exchange information with the other driver. Here are a few pieces of information you should get at the scene of the accident: 

  • Name and phone number of the driver
  • Insurance information
  • Make and model of the driver’s vehicle
  • Any witnesses contact information
  • Police report number
  • Name and badge number of the officer

This information will help with following up with your insurance company. It will also be helpful for your lawyer. 

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  1. Seek Legal Advice

After the accident, it’s important to talk to a lawyer. This is especially important if you sustained injuries and were not at fault. In the event of a settlement, JG Wentworth can help.  

What to Do After a Car Accident: Now You Know

It can be difficult to know what to do after a car accident. We hope these tips help you if you’re ever in an accident. 

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