What To Do After A Car Accident — A Checklist
Among the steps to take after being involved in a car crash, this one — after checking whether anyone needs medical attention — is vital: never admit you’re at fault.
“Never admit responsibility” leads a checklist of steps to take after a crash, according to the financial advice website the balance.
Your policy with an insurance company is a contract. That contract states that you must not assume responsibility or liability under the circumstances of a crash that just occurred.
Never discuss fault with the other driver or drivers or passengers involved in the crash. The details of how you feel or what you were doing are not their concern.
Even if you feel like you did something wrong, you must not ever accept responsibility or indicate responsibility.
Talk about the crash only with the police, medical professionals and your insurance representative.
What to do After a Crash
Here are the steps to take after a car accident:
- Drivers involved in a crash should always stop. It’s the law. Even if damage was obviously minor or nonexistent, drivers must stop any time a collision occurs.
- Never admit responsibility for a crash. Always be cautious. (see above)
- Check to see if anyone needs medical care. Try not to move the cars unless they are causing a major problem with traffic. If possible wait for the police before moving anything.
- Contact police, even in a minor accident. One reason for that is police are the officials authorized to record details for the official crash report. For the drivers in a crash, it’s important to have such a report.
- Get the facts. This is important, but the stress of being in a crash often makes drivers or passengers forget. Get the names, addresses, phone numbers and other contact information of those involved in the crash. Also helpful are to get a description of the other car in the crash, the other driver’s insurance company name and policy number and the vehicle identification number of the other car in the crash.
- A way to ease the stress that can surface at a crash scene is to prepare in advance for a possible crash. Get a copy of the official form that police use to collect crash scene information and review it. The forms are available from the local police department or motor vehicle registry.
- Record the date, time and address or approximate address of the crash and nearest cross street. Direction you were traveling in and the direction the other driver was traveling in. Take photos from a few angles or sketch a diagram of the crash scene.
- Write down what happened as soon as you are are able to record such details. Using a smartphone to record your details also is an option. It’s important to have your version of the crash established because the jolt or stress from such an incident can cause a driver to forget.
- Other information to get: Notes about driving conditions, weather, visibility; names and contact information of witnesses to the crash; and name, badge number and contact information for any police officer who comes to the crash scene.
- Contact your insurance company or agent immediately. It can be useful to call them from the scene.
Contact The Law Offices Of Richard Flexner today if you've been injured in a car accident, motorcycle crash, or help with any workers’ compensation issues.