Did you know that there are more than 5 million car accidents in the United States each year, with 43% resulting in injuries?
When you find yourself in a car crash, it can be overwhelming and easy to forget what steps to take afterward. It’s crucial to be prepared beforehand so that you know what to do in such a situation.
Here’s a guide on what to do at the scene of a car crash to make the process more manageable.
Check for Injuries and Ensure Safety
If there are serious injuries, immediately call 911 and the police. Even for minor accidents, it’s best to contact the police. In some states, it’s a legal requirement to report accidents.
In Arizona, you must report an accident if it causes injury, death, or significant vehicle damage. If the police don’t arrive at the scene, you’ll need to go to the nearest police office to file a report.
If the vehicles are still drivable, turn on the hazard lights and move them to a safe location. Use flares or emergency cones, if available, to warn other drivers. Make sure everyone stays away from any smoke or flames.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Once you’ve confirmed everyone’s safety, exchange information with the other driver involved. Limit communication and focus on gathering necessary details. Avoid admitting guilt, blaming the other driver, or discussing insurance policy limits to prevent complications regarding liability.
Collect information such as:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance company and policy number
- Telephone number
- Police officer’s name and badge number
- Police report number
- Witness contact information
- Determine vehicle ownership
- Vehicle make and model
Document the Accident Scene
Thoroughly document the accident scene. Take pictures, videos, or voice recordings of everything you see.
Start by photographing the damage to both vehicles from various angles. Capture the position of the vehicles in relation to the road, any skid marks, and property damage. Note the street names, exact time, and date of the accident. If possible, create a diagram of the crash scene.
Remember that some insurance companies, such as Allstate, offer smartphone apps to help document accident details and upload pictures.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of fault, you may need to contact your car insurance company when another driver is involved. Failing to file a claim while the other driver does may result in a loss of insurance coverage for the accident.
Find the claim information on your insurance card and start the claim process online, which is usually straightforward.
Get a Medical Checkup
Don’t dismiss any potential injuries, even if they seem minor. Seek a medical evaluation, as some injuries may not show immediate symptoms. Conditions like whiplash, concussions, back injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can manifest later.
Take photographs of any visible injuries and their progression over time.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer after your accident for legal guidance. They can help navigate potential complications, such as determining fault and dealing with insurance companies.
Choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and has knowledge of Arizona law.
Find an Experienced Attorney After Your Car Crash
After a car crash, it’s essential to avoid handling everything on your own. Arizona Accident Solution is here to assist you with your personal injury legal needs. We specialize in various areas, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents.
Contact us for a free initial consultation. We can help you seek the compensation you deserve and alleviate the stress associated with a car accident.