You’re slowing down at a stoplight when someone rear-ends your car. You’ve never been in an accident before, so you’re not sure about what to do next. Thankfully, Suzuki Law Offices is here to help! Here’s a list of what you need to do after an auto accident.
1. Pull Over Somewhere Safe (if You Can)
The first thing to remember in an accident scenario is that you need to stop. If you continue driving after hitting or getting hit by another car, you could be accused of “fleeing the scene.” You could be charged for fleeing the scene even if the other driver hits you! Therefore, your plans are secondary to pulling over and getting out of your vehicle.
It’s wise to pull over somewhere safe. If your car can be moved away from traffic, you should move it, as leaving your car in the middle of the road puts you and other drivers at risk of another accident. However, if your car can’t be moved, then you should leave it and get to a safe place. Never stand in the middle of the road, even if your car is stuck there!
2. Check on the Other Driver
You may feel all right, but the other driver may have sustained serious injuries. Once you and your car are in a safe place, check on the other driver to make sure he or she is ok. If the other driver is seriously injured, calling an ambulance is a number one priority.
3. Call the Police
Once you determine the health of the other driver, it’s time to call the police. Calling the police is always wise no matter how small the accident is! At the moment you and your car may seem fine, but injuries or car problems can crop up hours or days after an initial incident. That’s why you want a police report for any auto accident you go through.
A police report is crucial in filing claims with your insurance company and filing personal injury claims in the event of serious injuries. Therefore, always call the police to the scene when you suffer an accident.
4. Make an Accurate Statement
Once the police arrive, it’s time to make an accurate statement of what happened. Give the police a full and detailed record of what happened before, during, and after the accident. You never know what piece of information could be helpful for a future insurance or personal injury claim, so make sure to be thorough.
It’s important to note that you should never apologize to the other driver or the police in regards to the accident. Many people apologize as a way of being polite, but that could be interpreted as taking ownership or blame for the accident. Therefore, don’t apologize!
5. Take Pictures
Seeing is believing, and this holds true in auto accident scenarios. Taking pictures of the scene and your vehicle’s damage could prevent a “he said, she said,” situation later. Therefore, take photos from different angles of all personal injuries and any damage done to your car and the other driver’s car.
6. Exchange Information
Information is invaluable after an accident. Identifying who hit you and other personal information can help you make an insurance or personal injury claim.
The information you should get from the other driver includes:
- Home address;
- Phone number;
- Insurance paperwork of the other vehicle;
- Police report number (from the police officer).
If there is more than one other person involved in the accident, you should take down their information as well. Additionally, you should get the phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident, as they can verify what happened.
7. Report the Accident to Insurance
Once the officer leaves, it’s time to report the accident to your insurance company. Many policies require that you make a report immediately after an incident, so don’t wait till later to make your report!
8. Get Medical Attention
Not every auto accident injury is readily apparent; therefore, it’s wise to go in for a routine checkup after suffering a crash. A doctor can diagnose any potential injuries you received from the accident, and a full medical report of your injuries could help you recover just compensation from an insurance or personal injury claim.
9. Call a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
Having a trusted personal injury attorney on your side can help you determine if you should pursue a personal injury claim. An attorney can help you gather any evidence of the other driver’s fault you may have missed and help you with the next steps of pursuing a case.
If you don’t know whom you should call about your case, Suzuki Law Offices is here to help! Our firm offers free consultations for all potential personal injury claims, which means you get the information you need at no cost to you.
Our award-winning staff is waiting to hear from you! Call (602) 842-6762 now for a free consultation for your claim.