A car accident can be a scary event. After you’ve calmed down and ensured everyone is okay, do you know what to do next? To help ease the worry in a stressful situation, we’ve created a step-by-step guide. Here’s what to do after a car accident, all the way from the collision to the claim:
Are you hurt? If so, stay where you are and dial 9-1-1 immediately. If you feel okay and your car is drivable, carefully move it to a safe area away from traffic. If it’s not, and you don’t feel comfortable in it, walk to a sidewalk, shoulder, or side street.
Call the police.
Whether you’re hurt or not, they should arrive at the scene of every car accident to take statements, get copies of drivers’ licenses and registrations, and determine if any vehicles need to be towed. Additionally, they’ll give you a police report number, which you may need if you’re seen at a hospital or doctor’s office, or if you need to file an insurance claim.
Swap information with everyone involved in the collision.
Get names, addresses, and phone numbers so you’re equipped to file a claim.
Snap a few pictures of the damage.
Your insurance company will likely take their own photos, but it doesn’t hurt to have them on your phone, too.
Know what’s happening to your car.
If it’s being towed, ask where it will be taken. If you have anything of value in your vehicle, ask if you can remove it while you wait for a safe ride. Need a rental car while yours is undergoing repairs? Read the five things to do before driving away in a rental vehicle.
Now that some of the adrenaline has worn off, do you still feel okay, or should you be seen by a doctor?
File your claim.
Don’t be left wondering what to do after a car accident. Stay safe, smart, and insured on the roads so it’s a smooth ride, every time.