Catherine C Ford, Writer
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The first thing to do after a car accident is to check everyone in the car for injuries and call 911 right away for anyone who needs immediate medical attention. You should also put on your hazard lights and move your car to the side of the road if it is drivable.
A car accident is a confusing, frightening event. Keeping calm while you follow the necessary steps will help you think clearly and be able to talk to other involved drivers, the police, or medical professionals with minimal stress and conflict.
8 Things to Do After a Car Accident
- Check yourself and anyone in the vehicle with you for injuries and call 911 if anyone is injured.
- Move your vehicle out of traffic if it is drivable, but do not leave the scene of the accident.
- Call the police. If anyone is injured or there’s major property damage, you may be required to contact the police by state law. After you give your statement to the officer, be sure to get the officer’s name, badge number and phone number, and ask when you can get a police report number.
- Document the scene by taking pictures of damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and any other property damage, recording the time and date of the accident and noting the details of the accident to the best of your ability.
- Get the names, contact information, driver’s license and plate numbers, and insurance information from other drivers if you are involved in a collision with another vehicle or multiple cars. Collect the contact information of any witnesses, if possible.
- Do not admit fault, accept compensation from another involved driver, or agree to not involve insurance companies. Do not sign any documents provided by another driver.
- Request roadside assistance if your car is not drivable.
- Contact your car insurance company to notify them of the accident and give them all the information you gathered.
For more information, check out WalletHub’s full guide on what to do after a car accident.
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