Do you know what to do after you get into an auto accident? If you wait until it happens, the stress of the situation can cause you to miss important steps that will affect the financial compensation you can receive. The time is now to become familiar with what you should do when you get into a collision.
You can remember the following steps through the acronym CRASH to make it easier under the emotional circumstances.
Call the police
The first step is to pull over to safety and call the police to notify them of the accident, even if it is a simple fender bender. Having a police report on file will come in handy when dealing with insurance companies and potential litigation. Share what happened without admitting any fault.
Receive medical help
In the event of a traumatic accident, medical help will arrive. However, even if you do not notice signs of physical harm, you should still receive prompt medical attention. Call 911 if you need immediate care or schedule an examination with your health care provider to catch less obvious injuries. Sometimes symptoms take a while to show up, especially for traumatic brain injuries.
While you wait for the police or ambulance to arrive, ask the other driver for the following information:
- Phone number
- Driver's license number
- Insurance policy
It is smart to note the make, model and color of the vehicle along with the license plate number in case the driver tries to disappear. Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information as well. Use your phone to take pictures of the scene of the accident and visible injuries.
Speak to your insurance provider
Notify your insurance provider of the accident right away to find out what you need for your claim. However, only state the occurrence of the incident. Do not make a statement. Say you will call back later with more details.
Hire a lawyer
Call a lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can help you formulate your official statement to the insurance company to avoid saying anything that would lower the compensation you are eligible for. Your lawyer can also speak to your and the other driver's insurers on your behalf.