What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

In 2021, there were nearly 284 million vehicles on US roads, so it’s hardly surprising that there were 12.15 million vehicles involved in accidents in 2019, with around half them passenger cars. While many car accidents are minor, there were 42,795 fatal car crashes in 2022. Being in a car accident, even just a small accident, can leave you feeling shaken up. However, it’s important to remain calm and take the proper steps following an accident to ensure everyone’s safety and protect your rights. Here is some advice on what to do after a car accident.


Check for Injuries

The first thing you should do after a car accident is check whether anyone is hurt. If anyone complains of pain or appears to be bleeding, call 911 immediately. Even if the pain seems minor, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible –  car accidents cause around 14% of TBI cases in the US annually. 

Call the Police

In most states, you are required by law to call the police after a car accident if there are any injuries or major vehicle damage. Even if it’s not a serious crash involving multiple vehicles, it’s still sensible to call the police so there is an official report of the incident. Having a police report can help expedite the insurance claims process later. The report will contain important information like witness statements and the officers’ assessment of fault. Make sure to get the officers’ badge numbers and contact information.

Exchange Information

If the vehicles are driveable, pull over to a safe location like a parking lot or side street before assessing the damage. When speaking to the other driver, remain polite and stick to the facts. Avoid placing blame or admitting fault. Exchange names, contact info, insurance details, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers. Also, get contact info for any passengers or witnesses. Take pictures of the damage, the vehicles’ positions, and any skid marks on the road.

Document the Car Accident Scene

Try to gather as much documentation as you can at the scene. In addition to taking photos, make written notes about what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind. Note the date, time, weather conditions, road conditions, and any traffic signs or signals that may be relevant. 

Call Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as you are able. Provide them with a brief summary of what happened and request guidance from your claims adjuster about next steps, like taking your vehicle to an approved repair shop. 

Get Medical Attention

Check in with a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Soft tissue injuries, whiplash, concussions, and delayed pain may not be immediately apparent. 

Consult a Car Accident Attorney

According to Las Vegas car accident lawyers at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, seeking legal help is wise. An attorney can help ensure you receive the best settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They can review the details of your case and determine if you need to file a personal injury claim, negotiate a fair settlement amount, and represent you in court if necessary. Many attorneys provide free case evaluations.

Following these steps will help ensure your safety, protect your rights, and get your claim processed smoothly so you can put the incident behind you. 

Rylie Holt