If you’ve been in a car accident, you are no doubt shaken by the experience and may be struggling to recall what steps you should take next. Bookmark this page for a quick and easy way to pull up the information you should exchange in the event of a car accident.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident
The most important thing to do right away is to get medical help for anyone who has been injured in an accident. Even if there are no injuries, you will want to call the police to inform them of the accident and get them on the scene quickly. If no one is seriously injured and the vehicles can be moved without further damage, try to move your vehicle off the roadway for your safety and the safety of other motorists.
What Evidence Should I Collect to Improve My Case?
While waiting for the police to arrive, it is a good idea to take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved in the accident, and any obvious injuries you may have sustained. These will prove helpful in establishing the facts of the accident in a clear way.
NOTES OF INCIDENT
Additionally, it is helpful to write notes on what happened soon after the accident, while they are still fresh in your mind. You can refer back to these later to refresh your memory.
WITNESS CONTACT INFO
If there are any witnesses to the accident nearby, try to get their contact information for later use. Eyewitness testimony can be key in proving your case and verifying the facts of the accident.
GET POLICE REPORT COPY
When the police have finished making their report, ask them to send you a copy of it. They may be able to give you a copy at the scene or mail it to you when it is completed. If not, they will be able to give you the steps you will need to take to get a copy of the report once it is completed.
SAYING LESS IS MORE
Keep conversation with the other driver to a minimum. In any conversations with the other driver or the police, stick to the facts of the situation and do not speculate on who is at fault in the accident.
Even if you believe that you are at fault, there may be facts and circumstances you are unaware of that mitigate your responsibility or point to the other driver being completely at fault. In the confusion after an auto accident, you are not in the proper frame of mind to determine who exactly is at fault, so stick close to the facts.
Information You Will Need to Exchange with the Other Driver
The information you should exchange with the other driver will help in reporting the claim to your insurance company and building the evidence of your case should litigation be involved.
The information you will need to exchange is:
- Phone number
- Driver license number
- License plate number
- Auto liability insurance carrier
- Insurance policy number
- Phone number for the insurance company
Following these steps will help protect you from fraudulent claims, and ensure your rights are protected in any dispute over the accident.
To learn more about car accidents, read our A Comprehensive Guide for Car Accident Victims.