No one wants to find themselves involved in a car accident, even if the incident is minor. So many questions arise after the fact, the more common ones being, “What happened?” “Is everyone okay?” “Whose fault is this?” “What will this mean for my insurance?”
To help the police, insurance companies, and even yourself answer these questions and determine the most accurate outcomes, there are a few things you should do after the dust of the accident has settled.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
There are several steps everyone should take moments after a car accident.
- Check to make sure you and your passengers are okay. Call 911 if there are any serious or worrisome injuries.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. Take as many pictures as you need to, capturing all damaged areas from multiple angles.
- Get information from the other driver or drivers involved—their name(s), address(es), phone number(s), and insurance information.
What to Do When the Police Arrive
Once the police arrive, it’s important to follow all their instructions. If the cars are still drivable, the officer may direct all parties to a nearby area that is safer and away from traffic.
When talking to the police, you should answer all their questions about the accident. Be as thorough and honest about the accident as possible. Do not admit fault to them, though, even if you think you’re the at-fault driver; they might decide otherwise after their investigation.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
- Don’t ignore any injuries, especially ones that appear serious or have cause for concern.
- Don’t avoid calling the police. They are crucial in determining which driver is at fault and what percentage of fault the driver is responsible for. You might think you are to blame for the accident, but the police could determine that you were only partially at fault or free of blame entirely.
- Don’t forget to take pictures of the damage from multiple angles.
- Don’t admit any fault to the other drivers, even if you think you’re the cause of the accident. It’s best to stay quiet about the details until the police arrive.
- Don’t leave your insurance company out of the loop. Call them as soon as you can to report the accident and make your claim.
- Don’t forget about the power of having an attorney on your side. They can communicate with the police, your insurance company, and the other drivers’ insurance companies to ensure the best outcomes for you.
Gregory Bushway is a former prosecutor who now handles Middle Georgia’s criminal defense cases with excellence. Schedule a consultation with our team today: 478-621-4995
Thank you for reading our series on car accidents! If you missed our previous article, please follow the link below:
- Part 1: What Does It Mean to Be at Fault in a Car Accident?
- Part 2: Steps to Take at the Scene of a Car Accident