Car accidents can happen to anyone – even the most careful and conscious drivers. When an accident happens, it is natural to feel a bit of shock and adrenaline. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you may also have some anger and frustration. All of these emotions can culminate into a frenzied state that impacts your decision-making ability.
This can make it difficult to know exactly how to respond after an accident. Fortunately, The Dixon Firm, PC is here to help. In this post, our Atlanta car accident attorney offers some guidance on what to do immediately after a car accident. Keep these tips in mind in case you are ever involved in an accident.
What to do Immediately After a Car Accident
Manage the stress and emotions following a car accident by doing the following:
Check for Injuries
The first thing to do after a car accident is check for injuries. Check yourself and any other occupants in your car, then check others involved. If anyone is injured – even if the injuries appear minor– call 911 and request an ambulance and police officer. It can be difficult to determine exactly how serious an injury is right after an accident.
Move to Safety
The next thing you should do is move to safety. If the vehicles involved are still operational, pull them to the side of the road. If they are not operational, use triangles or flares, or move away from the vehicles until police arrive. Many car accident injuries and deaths are related, not to the accident, but to those involved in the accident standing too close to traffic and being struck.
Document the Car Accident
If you are able to do so, document the accident. Make a note of the time, location, and anything relevant, such as hazards or weather conditions. The police officer on scene will complete an accident report, and it is important that you provide only the facts of the accident. If possible, take photos of the scene and damage to the vehicles involved.
Exchange contact information with other drivers involved in the accident. You should gather:
- Name and contact information
- Insurance information
- Police officer’s name and badge number
- Police/accident report number
- Contact information for any witnesses
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is important to contact your insurance company after a car accident. You should report the accident and any damage to your vehicle. Avoid admitting fault or claiming that the other driver was at fault this early in the claims process. Your insurance company will investigate the accident. The more information you have, the better. Make sure you provide your insurance company with a copy of the accident report, photos of the damage, and any medical expenses you have from the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, you may find that your insurance company doesn’t agree with you on who is at fault, or how significant the damages are. If the other driver was at fault, you may also find that their insurance company tries to “low ball” you on compensation. In either case, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your options.
A car accident lawyer can help you understand your insurance coverage and any settlements you are being offered. A lawyer will review all the details of your accident and help determine if you are entitled to more than what the insurance company offers. If so, a lawyer will negotiate to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.