It’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed after a car accident. Even if you were not injured, it can be a shocking and dangerous event. You may be unsure exactly what just happened, and it may be the first time you’ve ever been in an accident.
As a result, you may overlook some of the key steps that you need to take after the crash. This can result in problems later on, so consider the following five steps, and make sure that you do each one in turn.
#1. Check on the injured
First of all, check on everyone in your car, including yourself, to see if anyone has sustained injuries. You may already be thinking about the legal situation or who you need to call, but nothing should come before health.
#2. Contact the authorities
If no one is injured, you likely still need to contact the police to report the accident and have them help clear the scene. If someone is injured, then you need to call 911 to get an ambulance or a firetruck dispatched to your location.
#3. Take photos
After these official steps have been taken, if you’re able to do so, go around the scene and take pictures of the accident. It can help to have pictures that show your car, the street, any nearby cross streets, traffic signals and anything else that may have influenced the crash. But you also want to have closer pictures that show injuries or damage.
#4. Exchange information
Talk to the other driver and exchange important information, such as your insurance information. You also want to get identifying details so that you can get in touch with them later. You may want to take a picture of their license plate and their drivers license, for instance.
#5. Don’t admit anything
Regardless of how the accident occurred or who you think was at fault, you never want to admit to causing the crash. It may not even be wise to apologize, as this can imply guilt. Simply focus on gathering details.
If you have been injured in the accident, then you may need to learn what next steps to take to seek financial compensation.