Car accidents can be scary. They are also fairly common occurrences. In fact, the average driver will be involved in approximately four car accidents in his or her lifetime. Given that crashes can happen anywhere, and at any time, it is important to have a plan. Here's a car accident checklist so you know how to protect yourself.
Your action plan must begin before an accident even occurs. We recommend always having the following items readily available in your vehicle at all times:
- Your car insurance card and car registration
- Your driver’s license
- A safety kit with first aid supplies, flares, and flashing lights
At the Scene Of A Car Accident
If you have ever been in an accident before, you may know it is easy to forget what you should do (and not do). Planning ahead will keep these steps fresh in your mind. Stay calm and follow these steps:
- Remain at the scene and turn on your hazard lights
- Take a moment to assess your physical condition, as well as the condition of any passengers and occupants from the other vehicle(s)
- Call the police to report the accident, along with any injuries
- Assuming you are not injured, take photos to document the vehicles’ position and damages
- For minor accidents, vehicles can be moved out of the flow of traffic
- If possible, talk to any witnesses who stop to assist, and write down any key details so you don’t forget later
The list of things you should not do is just as important:
- Do not sign any papers for anyone except the police
- Do not discuss details or admit fault to passersby or the other driver(s)
- Do not let others take a photo of your license or car registration
- Do not leave the scene until after the police have given you clearance to do so
Also, it is important to note that even if you do not believe you have sustained any injuries at the time of the accident, it is not uncommon to find that neck and back pain may not set in until 24 hours after the crash. It is always in your best interests to be examined after an accident to make sure you do not need additional care. Furthermore, if you do need additional medical attention, you will want to keep careful records throughout the process.
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What To Do After the Accident
After a car accident, once you are in a position to do so, you need to begin the process of protecting yourself and seeking any applicable recovery of damages. Follow these steps to begin this process:
- Call your insurance company to report the accident
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Get an assessment of the damages to your vehicle
- Follow up on your own medical needs where applicable
- If you believe the other driver was at fault, contact a personal injury attorney who can help navigate the process of seeking compensation
Seek Attorney Representation
Contact an attorney to handle your case before you make any statements to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your attorney can provide guidance on how best to proceed. Handling the aftermath of a car accident can be a daunting prospect, but with the right guidance, you can recover any damages and get back on the road quickly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident at the fault of someone else, you can call the experienced lawyers at The Graham Law Firm for a free case review. 404-526-9955 Keep a copy of a car accident checklist handy so you'll always know what do before and after an accident.