Do’s & Don’ts After A Car Wreck
DO Get Medical Attention – Injuries need to be tended to first. If you or your passengers are injured, concern yourself with getting the medical attention that is required. If no one is injured, still consider seeking medical attention. You might not be hurt now, but you could be worse in the next few days, weeks, or even months.
DO Ensure Your Safety – Take a few moments to assess and address the situation. Are there any other immediate dangers such as fire or oncoming traffic around you? Secure your safety and the safety of your passengers right away.
DO Call the Police – With a small amount of damage, it’s tempting to skip this step, but doing so can be quite foolish. The police are there to sort out everything and to gather all the necessary information, including insurance details. Even in small accidents, relying on the “promise” of the other party to take care of everything is pretty risky.
DO Collect Detailed Facts – As the situation begins to settle, take time to record important information about the accident and about those involved at the scene, including:
*Other drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance details, including insurance carriers.
*Contact information for all passengers and witnesses.
*Details about all the vehicles involved including model, make, color, license plate numbers, and year (if possible) along with a description of damage.
*The name, badge number, and report number from the officer in charge at the scene.
DO Take Photos to Document the Scene – For many, that means utilizing the camera in your phone. If that isn’t feasible, then simply keep a disposable camera in your glove box and use that if an accident occurs.
DON’T Sign Documents – The only exception is if it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
DON’T Take the Blame – Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you believe it was your fault. That is for others to decide.
DON’T Discuss the Accident with Other Drivers – Refrain from discussing the accident in-depth with the other driver or drivers. Just state the facts and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent.
DON’T Leave the Scene – If at all possible, don’t leave the accident scene before the police and other drivers do, just in case you need to receive or provide additional information.