After any car wreck, it’s easy to become stressed or overwhelmed if you don’t know how to deal with the situation. With thousands of car wrecks occurring each month, it’s therefore important to to be prepared and understand next steps before you and another vehicle collide. Here are the 7 steps you should take after being in a wreck.

  1. Make Sure You’re Prepared BEFORE It Happens: Being prepared for situations like this can truly make the difference, and that means making sure you have the right emergency supplies in your time of need. Your emergency kit should include:
    • First Aid Kit
    • Flashlight
    • Seat belt cutter and window breaker
    • Flares, reflective triangle, or orange cones
    • Pen and paper
    • Something to take photos with
    • Medical allergies and conditions card for yourself and regular passengers
    • Emergency contact list for the emergency responders
  2. Make Sure Everyone is Okay, and if Possible Move to Safety: After being in a wreck, safety is your number one priority. Make sure that you are uninjured first before checking on the others involved in the wreck. If someone is hurt call 911 immediately. Injuries can be internal so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If possible you and anyone else involved should move to the side of the road as quickly as possible to avoid any other vehicles from hitting you. Turn on your cars hazards and place flares, reflective triangles, or orange cones to make other drivers on the road aware of the accident.
  3. Stay Calm: After the wreck, you may be angry especially if the wreck wasn’t your fault, but it’s best to stay calm to avoid any arguments. Yelling at the other driver can lead to more issues and can turn your attention away from staying safe while you wait for emergency services to arrive.
  4. Call for Assistance: The first call you’ll want to make after you’ve been in a wreck is to the police. Whether the wreck is major or just a fender bender you’ll want the police to be there to make a report, and to call an ambulance if anyone is seriously injured. Calling a family member or close friend is also a good idea especially if your car is undriveable or if you need to get to the hospital to get checked out. Once you’ve addressed any serious injuries and obtained a police report it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation about your rights. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation to review your case and decide whether you may benefit from legal representation. Calling your insurance company should be your next step. You’ll want to do this soon to get your claim started.
  5. Collect information: You’ll want to get the other drivers’ information including name, number, address, and insurance information. Make sure you also collect contact information from any witnesses on the scene to help with your claim. Other information you’ll need to get is pictures of all cars involved, as well as anything else that could help with your claim like road conditions and skid marks. As soon as possible after the wreck write down all the details that you can remember about what happened in the hour before through the time of the wreck, as well as any admissions or statements the other driver or any witnesses made at the scene.
  6. Don’t Admit Fault or Guilt: To protect yourself its best if you don’t admit fault for the wreck at the scene. You will likely be under a great deal of stress, and it is best not to determine fault until all the facts are gathered. The police and insurance companies will discuss and determine who is at fault so keep your discussion with the other driver to a minimum.
  7. Consider Visiting a Doctor: After being in a wreck your body will in shock and running on adrenaline and many times you will not initially feel pain. You may be injured internally and unaware of possibly life-threatening injuries, so it is best if you visit a doctor as soon as possible following the wreck.

Overall, it’s important to understand the steps that follow a car wreck, especially if you have never been in one before. For more information about what to do after a wreck, check out our new eBook. Call Van Cleave Law today.