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Top 10 Things To Do After a Car Accident

October 30, 2012By

Stay Calm & Stay in the Car (if Possible)   

Here are the top 10 things to do after a car accident.  The air bag will mostly likely go off – which is a good thing. So, prepare yourself for the ‘airbag gasses’. They are very unpleasant.

Air bags definitely save body parts from damage. They also release an unpleasant gas that sort of makes you choke.

The experts say to stay in the car and call 911 (or the equivalent if you’re outside of the United States). That may or may not be good advice – so, you should make a judgement call when you have an accident.

For instance, if you’re in the middle of an intersection and can safely get out of harm’s way – then do it.  If you’re able to drive the car – then try to get it out of the road.  If, after the accident, you’re on the side of the road with no one around – then just stay in the car and wait for help.

 

2. Report the Car Accident

Call 911 as soon as you find your cell phone. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and you’ve told them your description of what happened. The emergency help might not be able to get there as quickly as you want them to. Don’t believe what you see on television or the movies – when the ambulance gets there immediately.

 

Your injuries might not be apparent right after the accident. Call for an ambulance right away if you think you or your passengers need it. Many injuries will start off as minor pains (like whiplash) which if not taken care of properly could get worse over a few short days. Besides, getting a doctor to document EVERYTHING sooner can only help any insurance claims you need to make later.

 

3. Exchange Insurance details with other driver(s)

Always exchange driver details (after an accident) and take some accident notes. Write down the following details:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone Numbers
  4. Driver License
  5. License Plate Number
  6. Insurance Company Name & Policy Number

It’s possible that the driver of the car will be different than the name of the insured on the accident vehicle. They could also be borrowing someone else’s car. Take down the details for each of the drivers and the car owner. Also write down a description of the truck, including: make, model, and color.

 

4. Locate Any Witnesses

Hopefully someone else saw the accident. Try to get their name and number just in case you need a witness. They might not volunteer – so, you should ask.

 

5. Don’t Admit Fault

It’s easy to be upset when you’ve been run into (or when you crash into someone else). Don’t yell at them and say that it’s their fault, even if it is. Don’t admit to it even if you think it’s your fault. It might not be your fault.

Let the authorities do their jobs and use their tools to come to a conclusion. You don’t want to admit to something – as – you could just be in a state of shock or sadness. Or even hurt badly.

Don’t sign any documents – unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.

6. Don’t Share Injury Concerns

If someone asks, “How are you doing?” keep a low profile by saying, “I’m shaken up”. The truth of the matter is you don’t know what is or isn’t wrong with you at this early stage. Besides, you don’t want to make statements while in shock and later have to refute them after seeking the advice of a medical professional.

 

7. Know What Your Car Insurance and Health Insurance Covers

Knowing your car and health insurance details could save you a lot of grief when dealing with a car accident scenario. It’s always better to know BEFORE an accident that you’re fully covered for ambulance trips, tow trucks, or rental cars.

Check your policies for specifics and get extra coverage today for those essentials you’ll need covered if you’re injured or your car cannot make the drive home.

 

8. Photograph and Document the Accident

Use your cell phone to take pictures. Take photographs of the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and the entire accident scene to give perspective of the event. Take wide shots of tire skid markings to show vehicle travel paths. Photographs showing the entire accident can help you make your case to claims adjusters if there is a dispute.

If you require the services of an attorney, he or she won’t be able to help you without enough knowledge of the accident. Pictures will serve to prove what happened.

 

9. Report Accident To Your Insurance Company

As soon as your stomach has settled and you’ve gone to the doctor to get checked over, call your insurance company to report the accident – even if the damage seems minor or the other driver wants to settle without making an insurance claim. Seemingly small fender-bender car accidents can reveal major damage later on – like a bent car frame – so get your insurance company in the know sooner or you might be without coverage when you really need it.

 

10. Call Your Lawyer

While your car is sitting on the side of the road, take that time to call your lawyer. Ask the lawyer exactly what should you do before the car gets towed. If you get your legal beagle in the know sooner – than that might help you get the most from an insurance claim and help you see things more clearly later on.

Remember to remove your belongings from your car before it’s towed. Rescue any driving gadgets, insurance papers, repair reports, receipts, purse, wallet, school books, computers or music before leaving your keys with the tow operator.

Remember that vehicles are just stuff. People are priceless. Try the best you can to be thankful for what you have today, not for what you lost. Be sure to thank a higher power for your teeth and your toes.

In the next blog – I’ll discuss how to prepare an Emergency Road Kit.

 

In case of an Accident –

Call Odessa Law Practice @

432-301-9252

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