What to do after a car accident: A 7-step guide

Post By Corey Heit

Most people have difficulty thinking clearly during the chaos following an accident. If you are involved in a car accident, the most important thing to remember is to try to stay calm. Here are seven steps you can take to stay safe, keep calm and minimize stress.

1. Check for injuries and move to safety

If your car is drivable, pull out of the way of traffic and check if anyone involved in the accident was injured. Use your hazard lights to warn oncoming traffic, and if it’s not safe to leave your car, keep your seatbelt on.

2. Call the police and file a report

Having the police on site will help keep everyone stay calm and collected. The police report is helpful documentation that may be used to determine which driver was at fault.

3. Collect information from the other driver

Exchange insurance and driver’s license information. Avoid commenting about blame or fault until you’ve had a chance to process the accident.

4. Take photos and document the accident

Forgetting to take notes about the accident can make it difficult to prove what happened down the line. Use your phone to take plenty of pictures of the vehicles, road markings, damages and road conditions.

5. Talk to your insurance company

File a claim with your version of the story as soon as possible. Avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company. Your insurance provider will work directly with the other insurance company on your behalf.

6. Go to the doctor and track your injuries

Some injuries are not obvious right away. Talk to a doctor about any pain, stiffness, discomfort, dizziness or numbness you experience after being in an accident. Keep track of your medical bills, receipts, and proof of lost wages.

7. Protect your rights

Do not accept a settlement that does not cover all of your injuries. Before you appear in court, make a payment or settle a claim, make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations.

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