Actions to Take Following an Accident
You’ve just been in a car accident – what should you do? When your adrenaline is pumping and a million thoughts are racing through your mind after the accident, it can be difficult to know exactly what actions to take.
For that reason, we’ve created this guide and we encourage you to bookmark it so that you have it readily available if you ever find yourself in an accident. That way, you will only have to remember one thing in the stressful aftermath of a car crash – to open the bookmark to this page and get all the instructions you need.
Steps 1-6 below should occur as soon as possible after the accident. Steps 7-9 should occur soon thereafter, but do not delay too long or you may run into issues with your insurance claim and any potential legal case.
Do These Things IMMEDIATELY
Step One: Call the appropriate Police agency to document the accident. Don’t move your vehicle unless instructed to by the Police.
Step Two: Tend to your injuries (you can’t effectively help anyone if you don’t take care of yourself), and then help the occupants of your vehicle.
Step Three: Get witness information. Make sure to get telephone numbers, address and take a picture (if you are able to) of the witnesses to the accident.
Step Four: Get insurance information for all vehicles and drivers involved. The information includes the information for the driver AND owner of the other vehicles (they may be different people). Make sure to get:
- Insurance policy information (insurance company name, insurance policy number, etc.)
- Agent contact information
- Driver’s license information
If the Police suggest they are going to get all of the information, review it before everyone is released, as they may have missed crucial information you will need later.
Tip: Use the camera on your phone to take pictures of the other drivers’ insurance cards, drivers’ licenses and other related documents.
Step Five: Take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. Take pictures from as many angles as possible. If the accident is at an intersection, get pictures of the signal lights and other signage in the area.
Step Six: Get full medical treatment right away. Explain to your treating physician all of your aches and pains. Don’t leave anything out and make sure you follow the doctor’s orders in the days, weeks and months to come.
Do These Things Soon After The Accident
Step Seven: Get competent legal representation from attorneys who handle these matters regularly. Even if you do not think you need an attorney, it’s better to get a free consultation and find out that’s the case rather than letting the insurance company and their army of lawyers walk all over you when you have a valid claim. Flesch & Beck Law has been in the business of handling personal injury cases for over 20 years. Call us 24/7 at for a completely free consultation.
Step Eight: Make sure you file claims with all of the appropriate car insurance carriers and confirm your coverages relating to liability, med pay, UM/UIM (uninsured motorist/under-insured motorist).
Step Nine: Keep a journal of your daily life after the accident. Take notes about how you are feeling, how your treatment is going, keep track of lost wages, documents other expenses and losses. This is an important step in showing how severely the injury has affected you and your family.