Even if you are an extremely cautious driver, you will likely be involved in more than one car accident over the course of your life. That is not an indictment of your driving ability but simply a reality caused by the inherent dangers of the road. Here is a car accident checklist for what to do.
No matter how major or minor the car accident may be, the time immediately afterward is likely to be dominated by confusion and frustration. That is why we have put together this car accident checklist. The steps you do or do not take immediately after the accident have a huge impact on how well the accident gets resolved.
Car Accident Checklist of What to Do
Hopefully, you will not need to follow this car accident checklist anytime soon. But if you do end up in a collision with another driver, it is essential that you follow each of the steps carefully and systematically. Keep a copy of this car accident checklist in your glove box or your phone so that you don’t miss an important step.
- Never Leave the Scene – If you are involved in a car accident, never leave the scene without first following the rest of the steps on this car accident checklist. It does not matter if the accident is minor, if there are no injuries involved, or if the other driver seems unconcerned. If you are involved in any car accident in any location, you always need to stop and address the situation directly.
- Secure the Area – A car accident puts both you and other drivers at risk. If you have flares or cones available, set them up around the accident to keep other drivers a safe distance away. At the very least you should put your emergency flashers on. If you are in a high-risk area, get a safe distance away from the accident.
- Call the Police – This is one of the most important steps on the car accident checklist. No matter what kind of car accident you are involved in, you will always need to contact the police. Having a police report is essential for getting the situation resolved.
- Create an Accurate Record – Once a police officer arrives, tell him or her exactly what happened using only the exact details that you can remember. If you are unsure about anything, do not speculate. If you are asked whether you are injured, always answer either yes or unsure. Sometimes the pain and injuries caused by accident do not manifest themselves immediately. Be sure not to overlook this entry on the car accident checklist.
- Get a Photo Record – If you or someone you are with has a camera, take extensive photos of the accident, the area around the accident, and any injuries that you or your passengers suffered. This is an important step on the car accident checklist, because photographic proof is valuable evidence that may not be possible to get once the accident has been cleaned up. Put these pictures in the file you create later on the car accident checklist.
- Trade Information – In most cases, the police officer who responds to the accident will facilitate the exchange of information. However, if an officer does not respond for some reason, make sure that you have the contact info for the other driver along with their license plate number and insurance information. If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should get their info as well.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider – You should get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident. You are likely entitled to compensation as a result of the accident, and your provider can be a helpful source of information amid the confusion following a collision.
- Get Medical Attention – This entry could easily be number one on the car accident checklist. Even if you do not have any obvious injuries, you should get checked out by a medical professional. Some symptoms take time to manifest themselves. The only way you can know for sure how your health and well-being have been affected by the accident is to visit a professional.
- Start a File – As part of your recovery from the accident you will want to keep a file of relevant information. This should include the police report, insurance information, contacts, pictures, and anything else you deem to be relevant. The more information you have the better.
- Consult an Attorney – The final entry on the car accident checklist is also the one that will help the most in getting the situation resolved. Qualified legal counsel can help you explore the accident and stand up for what is fair. No matter what kind of accident you are involved in, it’s always wise to reach out to an attorney.
If you neglect any one of the steps on this car accident checklist you simply open yourself up to further confusion and frustration. When you need to speak to someone who can offer information and assistance, contact Silver & Silver Attorneys at Law by calling 561-279-3911.