What to Do After a Car Accident

Posted by shark

inLegal Advice, Necessary Forms

Most motorists drive defensively, take driver education courses, and use caution when on the road, however car accidents still occur.  An auto collision can be an emotionally exhausting and stressful situation, so knowing what to do in advance can help you handle the unexpected.  The best way to avoid problems after an accident is to be prepared.  Keep a pen, piece of paper, camera, and a copy of your insurance card easily accessible at all times.  Drivers are responsible for knowing what to do following an accident, so it is important to follow these steps in order to properly document the event.

  1. Assist the Injured
    1. Call 9-1-1 if medical attention is needed
    2. Make sure you are not in impending danger at the roadside
  2. Control the Scene
    1. Get to a safe place before exchanging information.  If the vehicle is drivable, safely drive to the right or left emergency lane.  If the vehicle is not drivable, turn on your hazard lights.  Finally, do not leave the scene of the crash; find a safe place and wait until emergency services arrive.
  3. Notify the Police and Submit a Report
    1. It is required by law to notify the police
    2. Having a police report will help later if a liability claim is filed
  4. Document the Scene and Exchange Information
    1. Gather the information of all parties involved in the crash, including witnesses, to help complete future paperwork or address potential problems
    2. You should document

i.     Names

ii.     Addresses/ email addresses

iii.     Vehicle information (make, model, and year)

iv.     Vehicle identification/ license plate numbers

v.     Insurance carriers and policy numbers

vi.     Photographs (location, people involved, damaged vehicles)

  1. Notify Your Insurance Carrier
    1. In order to begin a proper claim filing, you must notify your insurance carrier
  2. Get Your Vehicle Repaired
    1. You can visit  for a AAA approved auto body shop
  3. Unattended Vehicle or Property
    1. If you are involved in a crash with an unattended vehicle, take steps to inform the owner.  Attach a written notice of the collision to the vehicle, and include your contact information on a written notice

Other Important Tips

If you have been involved in a car accident, call the sharks and we can help explain your legal options. 312.878.2357

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