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What to do immediately after having a Car Accident

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Sadly, having a car accident is something most of us will experience at least once in our lives. Drivers who live in North America will have an average of one car crash, every 18 years. So, it is important to know what to do if you are involved in such an incident.

This list of car accident FAQ’s is a great source of information. There you can find answers to some of the more complex questions you might have.

But if you just want to know what to do immediately after having an accident, this basic checklist is a good starting point.

Make sure everyone is OK

Before you do anything else, make sure that everyone involved is alright. If anyone needs medical attention call an ambulance immediately.

Take the necessary action to keep other road users safe

You also need to look at the scene and work out if there is anything you can do to make things safer for other road users. For example, put your hazard lights on. Or, safely deploy warning triangles and don a high vis vest. Precautionary actions that are obligatory in some countries.

Call the police

In many places, you are required to call the police to the scene of all accidents. Or, at the very least to the ones where someone has been injured or property has been seriously damaged. 

Gather evidence

Once you have done these things, you can start to gather evidence. Take photos and videos. Do your best to capture the accident scene from a distance as well as taking shots of damage and injuries. 

If anything at the scene may have contributed to the accident, for example, a pothole, video and photograph that too. This general article contains some great tips about how to get the kind of photos that will help your insurance company to deal with your claim effectively

Exchange details

An important part of this evidence gathering process is taking down the details of the other driver and witnesses. If you can, also make a note of things like the insurance policy and ID numbers. Provided other people are comfortable with your taking photos of these documents, you should consider doing so. 

Ring an accident lawyer

It is also wise to ring an accident lawyer. Most of them offer a free initial phone consultation. They will provide some basic advice and help you to work out if the nature of your accident means that you may need to pay for their services.

Speak to your insurance company

It is also important to notify your car or bike insurance company, in a timely fashion. Usually, how soon after an accident you must do this is stipulated in your policy. 

The above are just the basics of what you should do after a car accident. You will need to seek additional advice from your insurer and vehicle accident lawyer. They will explain how to fill out the relevant forms and tell you who you should speak to. As well as explain what information it is safe to share with the various involved parties.

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