Car accidents happen fast, and most of the time you don’t even see them coming. Right after the collision, it can be hard to wrap your head around what you should do next. Here are some tips on what to do immediately after the crash and in the seconds, minutes and hours that follow.
If no one is seriously injured and you’re able to move your car, it’s always best to get it out of the way of traffic. Remaining in the middle of a road or intersection can sometimes cause other accidents to occur. If you are unable to move your car, stay put. Do not get out of your car and into the middle of traffic. The last thing you want to do is create another dangerous situation. Make sure everyone in the car keeps their seatbelts on. Also, turn your hazard lights on so other drivers can see you better.
Assess Injuries and Collect Information
Next, make sure to check yourself and all of your passengers for injuries. If possible, also check to see if the other people involved are ok. If anyone needs medical attention, get help immediately. This will help to ensure they don’t further complicate their injuries and also provides proper documentation that’ll be needed later for insurance purposes or for an auto accident lawsuit.
Another important piece of collecting information is taking photos. If you can safely do so, take pictures of all of the vehicles, people, and any minor injuries (major ones will be documented by first responders). Snap as many photos as possible, including pictures of any factors that may have played a role in the accident – weather hazards, traffic, intersections, road signals, construction and any obstructions. Also photograph evidence such as skid marks or scrapes to guard rails and debris.
Exchange insurance information with all of the drivers involved. It’s important to get insurance info from every driver in a multi-car accident, even if you only got hit by one car. Use a cell phone to take a pictures of each insurance card (front and back) to make sure everything is accurate.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, it’s always a good idea to document what they saw in case there’s any question later on. Also, make sure to get their name and contact information.
Report the Crash
Calling the police is always a good idea, even if the accident is minor. It provides necessary documentation that will help you later on if you or the other drivers involved file insurance claims.
You’ll also want to call your insurance company to alert them of the accident and begin the claims process. Make sure to look over your policy thoroughly and know what your options are before giving them any formal statements about the crash. They may use any recorded information you give to try to deny or alter your claim.
If you aren’t sure what you’re entitled to, or if your injuries and car damage are severe, it’s best to work with an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer to make sure you’re getting the coverage you deserve. Let the experts at Lorenzo & Lorenzo help you through this difficult legal process. Call us 24/7 for expert legal advice and to schedule your free consultation.