What to Do After a Car Crash: You Ultimate 7-Step Guide

Every year there are about six million car accidents, causing three million people to sustain injuries. Another two million people even develop permanent injuries.

If you’ve never found yourself in the aftermath of a crash before, you might not know how to handle the situation. Here are seven things you need to do immediately. Learning what to do after a car crash can make all the difference for your future.

Otherwise, you might have to pay off the damages and your medical bills without help.

Instead, gather the evidence you need to make a case for yourself. Keep reading to learn what to do after a car accident with this helpful guide. 

  1. Move to Safety

It’s normal to feel disoriented or even scared immediately following a car accident. That’s okay. Try to take a breath and remind yourself of these seven tips.

First, it’s important that you move to safety. Before you move, however, you’ll need to assess your condition. Are you okay to move?

If your neck or back is in pain, don’t rush yourself. You don’t want to do more harm to your spine.

If it seems safe to move, see if your car is okay to drive. Make sure to turn on your hazard lights before parking your car in a safe, nearby area. Moving out of the way of incoming traffic can help you avoid additional damage. 

Do you feel uncertain about moving your car? In that case, get out of the vehicle.

The police will let you know whether or not it’s safe to move your car.

It’s important that you don’t flee the scene of the crash. In some states, you’re required to call the police after an accident. If you leave beforehand, you might become guilty of a hit-and-run.

You might even face criminal penalties as a result.

Once you’re in a safe place, take a moment to assess your injuries. If you’re badly injured, call for medical attention right away.

Take the time to assess your own injuries before anyone else’s.

Many car accident victims don’t realize they’re in pain until days after the accident. There’s a chance adrenaline is masking the worst of your injuries. It’s still important to have a doctor assess your condition.

Was someone else in the car with you? Make sure they’re okay to move. If they’re neck or back is in pain, call for professional help instead of moving them on your own.

  1. Call the Police

As you work through this list of what to do after a car crash, it’s important to take steps that will protect you legally.

Remember, you’re legally obligated to call the police in most states. If you’re unsure about this rule in your state, consider calling the police anyway. That way, you don’t face any legal consequences. 

The police will file an official report, which you can use as evidence later on. 

To file their report, the police will make a record of details like deaths, property damages, and injuries. Don’t forget to ask them for a copy of the report for your records. Keep a record of the officer’s badge number and name as well.

They might need to provide you with a copy by email or have you visit the police station later on. 

  1. Avoid Small Talk

What happens after a car accident while you wait for the police to arrive?

It’s normal for you to gather the other’s driver’s information and make sure they’re okay. Beyond that, however, try to avoid small talk.

Don’t voice an opinion about what happened. Don’t apologize or take the blame.

Making a mistake like apologizing offhand could make it difficult for you to build a legal case.

  1. Gather Evidence

The police report is only one piece of evidence you can use for your case. If you’re wondering what to do after a crash, take a look around. Evidence is all around you.

First, get the other driver’s information. Make sure you have a record of the basics (their name, phone number, and address). You’ll also need their license number, license plate number, and insurance details.

Don’t forget to take photos of the scene, too. What kind of car was the other driver in? Where were they going?

In the days after the crash, you might start to forget certain details. Take photos and notes now while everything is still fresh. 

  1. File a Claim

You might want to file an insurance claim while you’re still at the scene of the crash.

Your insurance agent will tell you what to do after a car accident to file your claim. They might have you use an app. If your insurance company has an app, consider downloading it now.

That way, you’re prepared in the event of a crash. 

  1. Visit a Doctor

Only a doctor can determine if you were injured as a result of the crash. Remember, it’s normal not to feel symptoms right away. Consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment within a week of the crash. 

Nearly 50 million people sustain injuries or become disabled after an accident. Tracking your injuries will ensure you receive compensation to cover medical costs.

Make sure to keep track of everything relevant to your treatment. Did you need to visit a pain specialist? Maybe you went to a chiropractor?

Did anyone prescribe you a medication? Keep track of what you’re taking and how much, too.

  1. Talk to a Lawyer

Now that you know what to do after a car accident, it’s time to consider your case. Make sure to find an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney. Someone who specializes in car accidents will know exactly how to build your case.

They’ll ensure they receive the compensation you deserve.

Were you in a truck accident? Make sure to hire a truck crash attorney after the accident. A specialist can make all the difference. 

What to Do After a Car Crash: The 7 Steps You Need to Take

Learning what to do after a car crash is essential if you want to make a case for yourself. Gathering the proper evidence will ensure you can build your lawsuit. If you can prove the other driver was negligent, you can receive compensation to cover your losses.

Looking for more helpful tips and tricks? Explore our latest guides for more lifestyle advice. 

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