In the moments after a car accident, you may be confused and unsure of what you need to do. However, if you are uninjured and can remember to do the following three things immediately after the crash, you can help sort out the details for when you contact a lawyer about filing a claim with the insurance company.
Try Not To Move Your Car
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, try not to move your car until after the police have arrived. Also, attempt to keep the other driver from moving their vehicle. Having the vehicles in the same positions allows the police to accurate depict the direction each car was going, as well as surmise the fault.
However, if the accident happened on a busy highway and leaving the cars where they landed would be unsafe, do what you can to move them to a safer location. Before doing so, if possible, take a picture or quickly sketch out where they were, even if it's on a napkin or the back of an old receipt.
Take Pictures Of Any Damage
Before the police arrive, use your phone to take pictures of any visible damage done to both your and the other party's vehicle. Try to take the pictures from different angles to show each section in various lighting.
Taking pictures of your car can prove that the damage was done during the accident and not at a later date. Also, taking pictures of the other car gives you a record of the actual damage done during the accident, in case they try to manipulate the areas to make them appear worse if they are trying to lay the blame on you.
Give A Detailed Report To The Police
While talking to the police, give them as many details as possible about the accident at the scene. What you tell them will go into their accident report. Doing this directly after the incident allows you to recall what happened while the events are still fresh in your mind.
After giving the report, ask the officer when a copy will be available for you. Depending on the area, you may receive a copy at the accident scene, or you may have to pick it up at the police station once it has been filed. Either way, make sure you get a copy for yourself that you can show your attorney, who can then turn in a copy to the insurance company.
Taking the action steps above right after you are involved in a car accident can help you give a clear picture of what happened during the incident. After you get home, you may then want to contact an auto accident attorney to schedule a consultation so you can show them your documentation, then they can guide you on what you need to do next.