What To Do After A Car Accident

After you get into a car accident, you need to take care of yourself and get off the road — fast. Knowing what to do before you get into an accident can save you stress, time and problems should you ever get into a wreck. WeBuyTotaledCars has a helpful guide to help you learn.

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two cars in a wreck on the road

Car accidents, unfortunately, can happen to anyone behind the wheel. Regardless of if you’re a novice on the road or a seasoned vet, a collision is always a possibility.

While you can’t prepare for a car accident, you can be prepared for the aftermath.

Let’s take a look at what steps you can take to handle an accident and keep your head on straight in the chaos of its aftermath:

Step 1: Make Sure Everyone Is Okay

The first thing you should do after an accident is ensure that you and any passengers in your vehicle are in stable condition. Regardless of whether or not the airbags deployed, you want to check for any cuts, bruises, pain, etc.

If you’re involved in a collision and either you or your passenger is bleeding or unconscious, calling 911 is something you should do ASAP. A quick reaction can make a huge difference for anyone injured.

After checking on yourself and your passengers, check on the other driver and their passengers as well. If they happen to be injured or unresponsive, call an ambulance immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone if they are injured.

Furthermore, make sure the vehicles do not present a fire hazard. Leaking fluids or the smell of gas or smoke can signal a potential hazard. You’ll want to make sure your and the other driver’s vehicle is turned off, if possible.

If it’s not safe to turn off your vehicle, get as far away from it as possible and call the fire department.

Step 2: Get Out Of The Way Of Traffic

If you are uninjured and your vehicle is still operable, move it off the road and out of the way of traffic. If the flow of traffic is too fast or traffic is too dense, the safer option may be to remain in place with your hazard lights on.

All of these actions would be contingent on the severity of the accident and whether or not it is still safe to operate your vehicle.

If you are able to move it, double check that your car is in park. If you have the following items, feel free to use them to increase your visibility to other drivers on the road:

  • Cones
  • Flares
  • Warning triangles

Step 3: Call the Police

Once everyone is safe and out of the way of the flow of traffic, it is time to call the proper authorities.

Regardless of the severity of the accident, you should always call the police — even if the other driver doesn’t want to get them involved.

Having officers report to the scene of your collision is critical for a few reasons:

  1. It creates a record of the accident. You can use this record when filing a claim with your insurance company.
  2. Police can assist you with moving your vehicle off the road if necessary.
  3. In the event of a major collision, it’s often mandatory to call the police. Many states have laws that require you to call the police if damages or injuries cross a particular financial threshold.

As the officers collect your and the other driver’s information, you should also collect theirs.

Write down their name, badge number, contact information, and report number. Also, remember to ask for a copy of the police report!

Make sure to also ask for a copy of the police report.

woman on phone after accident

Step 4: Record the Scene

Record the scene of the collision; take pictures and record video of the damage to your vehicle. Make sure you circle the entire car, because this isn’t the time to miss any of the details!

Once you’ve got the state of your car in your archives, it’s time to get the other driver’s information. This includes their:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Insurance phone number

It’s important to get their vehicle’s year, make, model, and their license plate as well. Exchange all of that same information with them as well. You’ll also want to get the information of any eyewitnesses.

Your insurer, if you have one, is likely to ask you about the driving conditions at the time of the collision, along with the address of where the accident occured. Write those down, as well as an account of the events leading up to the collision as you remember them.

While speaking with the driver and going over the scene, make sure to not discuss fault or lay blame on the other driver. You’ll want to remain calm and objective.

Step 5: Begin Your Insurance Claim

File your claim once everything at the scene of the collision is taken care of. It’s not necessary to file on the scene and you are more than welcome to go home and relax first. However, doing it quickly, while the event is still fresh, is likely in your best interest.

Depending on your specific insurer, you’ll either be able to file a claim through an app on your phone or by calling an agent.

After speaking with your insurer, make sure to follow up and stay proactive with your claim. Get to know the full process of your claim and ask your agent for clarification and documentation along the way.

While no one plans to be in a car accident, it’s in your best interest to be prepared in the event of one anyways. By having a step-by-step guide, you’ll be better able to handle a collision with confidence!

smiling woman on computer

WeBuyTotaledCars: Sell Your Car After An Accident

In the event that your accident results in your vehicle being totaled, have no fear. WeBuyTotaledCars specializes in purchasing cars that have

After An Accident, Should I Call My Insurance Or Theirs?

Regardless of whether or not you are at fault, always call your insurance company after a collision. Whether you were at the scene or happened to come across your car having suffered damage, call your insurance company.

What Happens If You Fail To Report An Accident Within 24 Hours?

Fortunately, you aren’t required to report an accident within 24 hours of its occurrence. However, failure to report an accident at all is a criminal offense and can see you prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It’s best practice to report the accident as soon as possible.

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