What to Do After a Car Accident - A Checklist Guide

If you've been involved in a car accident, checklists are an essential way to make sure you haven't missed anything important after you leave the scene of the accident. Most likely, your mind will be racing with thoughts. Is everyone okay? Was the accident my fault? What should I do next?

This car accident checklist is designed to help you gather critical data if you get into an automobile accident.

1. Check to see if you or any passengers with you were injured in the automobile accident.

Do not hesitate to call 911-emergency help if you or anyone in any vehicle needs medical attention. Do not try to move anyone who may be unconscious whether in your party or in another vehicle, unless absolutely necessary. Often times, moving a person after a serious personal injury has occurred can aggravate or worsen an injury. If you must move injured people due to an emergency situation, make sure to keep their head and neck supported and ask for help from other nearby parties if you need it to ensure the person's body remains as stable as possible.

2. Safely get out of the way of traffic.

Get yourself to a safe area, such as a sidewalk or parking lot, but remain at the scene of the car accident. If your car is badly damaged and won't turn on, open your hood and put your flashers on to warn other drivers who may be approaching the area. Your safety is most important.

3. Call the police if the auto accident involves damage, injury or death.

Be sure to dial 911-emergency response if the auto accident involves any damage, personal injury, or death, especially in instances of hit-and-run driving. The 911-operator will initiate appropriate assistance such as ambulance, police, or CHP to the scene of the car accident.

4. Obtain information from the all other drivers and witnesses involved in the car accident.

You will need to gather the following information from all drivers, passengers, and witnesses of the accident: Name, Address, City, Home Number, Mobile Number, and Work Number.

It's helpful if you can gather the other person's Email, Insurance Company, Policy Number, Coverage Limits (liability).

5. Obtain police officer's information.

Don't forget to get the police officer's Name, Badge, Number, and City.

6. Write down the car accident information.

Jot down Date, Time, Make, Model, Year, Car Description, Color, State, and the other car's License Plate Number.

7. Take as many pictures as you can of the car accident. Be sure to remain safe in doing so.

When taking pictures, keep these tips handy. Be sure to photograph:

· Each car driver
· Each automobile in the car accident
· Any property damage including skid marks
· Any other damage to property (including vehicles), as well as the location of the automobile accident.

You can never take too many photos of a car accident. It is a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment or trunk of your vehicle in case of emergency. If there are no other cameras available, then you should use a cell phone camera if you have one. Make an extra effort to get photos. It's a benefit to have an abundance of pictures since they may help in the insurance company claims process to determine how much you should be paid for your injuries.

8. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Many times, initial injuries are spotted right after the accident takes place. However, many people may suffer from personal injury but not have realized it immediately following an automobile accident. Therefore, it is always wise to see your doctor to make sure that you are okay.

As to seeing a doctor, often people are offered an ambulance ride, which they turn down. Often, people strike their head, are confused, and really not in a position to say "yes" or "no" to the ambulance ride. Or, one may have a passenger, especially a child in the car, and not think about themselves. If an ambulance ride is offered, and if you're unsure as to whether or not you're injured, you may want to take the ambulance ride to be on the safe side.

9. Before speaking to the insurance company, make sure to consult an experienced auto accident attorney.

More often than not, the insurance companies will try to settle with you for less than you deserve. This is true especially when injuries are involved.

10. Create an auto accident diagram.

Before your memory get fuzzy, jot down a visual aid of how the auto accident happened. This will help you describe your car accident later.

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