What to Do After a Car Accident: 10 Steps to TakeJanuary 14, 2020
When a car crash happens, here’s what to do after a car accident:
- Call the police.
- Exchange information with the other parties involved.
- Take pictures and video with your phone.
- Never apologize or admit fault.
- Record witnesses’ names and contact info.
- Get the medical care you need.
- Document the details you remember about the crash.
- Report the crash to your auto insurer.
- Get a copy of the police report & keep everything.
- Talk to a lawyer who provides free consultations on your options.
A Step-by-Step Guide for What to Do After a Car Accident
In a serious car wreck, getting emergency medical attention should always be the priority. Whenever possible, however, taking these steps immediately after a crash can go a long way towards protecting a potential claim and your rights to compensation.
Step 1: Call the police.
Police will help the injured and investigate the crash. They’ll also interview witnesses, document important details, and write an official report explaining their findings. The police report can be essential to:
- Identifying who’s at fault
- Proving liability
- Strengthening a claim and favorably resolving it
Step 2: Exchange information with the other parties involved.
Get drivers’ names, contact information, drivers’ license and plate numbers, and insurance information. Provide this information to the others involved. It can be helpful to take pictures of IDs and insurance cards, in addition to or instead of trying to write everything down.
Step 3: Take pictures and video with your phone.
Get as much of the crash scene, wreckage, road conditions, weather conditions, and surrounding features as possible. Crash pictures and video can illuminate all sorts of key details later. So, take as many as you can.
Step 4: Never apologize or admit fault.
Saying “sorry” or taking the blame can both be used to pin the fault for the wreck on you—even if you didn’t cause it. So, avoid that altogether by not apologizing or assuming the blame.
Step 5: Record witnesses’ names and contact info.
If witnesses are available, get their names and contact info, along with a quick note about what they saw. It’s also important to check the official police report (when it’s available) for any other potential witnesses you didn’t notice at the time of the crash or who came forward afterward.
Step 6: Get the medical care you need.
At the crash scene and after, get medical attention. It’s not only important to helping you heal and achieve the best outcomes, but it’s also critical to documenting the severity of your injuries caused by the crash—and the cost of your medical bills to treat those injuries.
Step 7: Document the details you remember about the crash.
Try to do this as soon as you can after the accident. Memories fade and warp with time, so having a record of what you experienced when your memories are clear about it can be immensely helpful later.
Step 8: Report the crash to your auto insurer.
Call as soon as you can and, ideally, no later than 48 to 72 hours after the crash. Your policy may have terms requiring you to report accidents within a certain time frame, and compliance with those terms can be helpful for a future claim.
Again, only report and talk about the facts of the case. Never apologize, assume, or guess.
Step 9: Get a copy of the police report & keep everything.
Within the weeks after the crash, the police report can be available. Request, review, and keep a copy of this report. And keep everything else you have related to the crash, from your pictures and witness information to insurance company documents, medical bills, and more.
Step 10: Talk to a lawyer who provides free consultations on your options.
This is the best way to find out more about the strength and value of your claim—and get an experienced alloy on your side to help you bring your case to a successful resolution.
Discover More About Your Rights to Recovery: Contact the Amaro Law Firm
Taking these steps after an auto accident can be the key to getting the justice and financial recovery you may deserve. If you’re severely injured in a crash, however, and you can only take one step after a car accident, the single most important thing to do is contact the Amaro Law Firm.
The Houston car accident lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm are the advocates you can trust when it’s time to recover from a car accident. We can explain your rights and how to move forward to set your claim up for success.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, we know how devastating car accidents can be—and we know how crucial compensation is to healing and restoring lives. That’s why our experienced car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims seek the justice and financial recovery they deserve.