Steps to Take After a Car Accident


No matter how careful you are when you are driving your car or how attentive you are to the behaviors of other drivers, car accidents happen. Below are some quick steps to take after a car accident.

  1. Call 911. Find out if anyone involved in the car accident was injured. Be sure to have Police on the scene of a car accident regardless if anyone is injured and in need of immediate attention or not.
  2. Document everything. Car damages, related car accident injuries, car insurance cards of all parties involved along with name and phone numbers, and photos of the car accident scene.
  3. Contact a car accident lawyer. They will be able to assist when gathering information from the at-fault party/parties’ insurance company.

What Should I do After a Car Accident

  1. Always make sure your passengers and those in the other car aren’t injured. If anyone complains of injury, even if they aren’t obviously hurt, call 911. Emergency services will respond and treat those who require medical intervention. If no one is injured, you can still call 911. The police should be summoned even in minor car accidents. Leaving the scene of a car accident is considered a crime.

One of the benefits of calling the police is that you will have a detailed report of the crash for your car insurance company. This will be especially important if you are not at fault. After calling the police, get the information of any witnesses, including the other driver(s).

If you don’t have a chance to get this information yourself, it may be in the police report, which you can get from your local police station. In a case where the police can’t or won’t respond, you will want to go to the police department to fill out a crash report. This could be the difference in winning or losing your case should you decide to file suit against the at-fault party.

checklistNever tell anyone at the scene that the car accident was your fault. Don’t tell anyone that you aren’t injured and don’t apologize. Any of these statements could come back to haunt you if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit later.

If you don’t believe you are injured and don’t want medical treatment, tell responders that you don’t need treatment “at this time.” That way, no one can say you claimed to be unhurt.

What to Document After a Car Accident

  1. You need to provide at least your name and insurance information. Take your cell phone and snap a photo of the other party’s insurance card, gather their name and phone number, and take pictures of the damage to the vehicles.

Don’t forget to take pictures of the scene of the accident. You can take photos of the current weather, the conditions of the road and the exact location of the car accident. If you have your insurance company’s app, you might be able to document your crash and send it right to your agent.

take notes

Be sure to take notes about how you are feeling after the car accident. Adrenaline runs high right after a car accident, so it is difficult to know if you have any injuries. Typically, you can start to feel the aftereffects of the car accident hours or a few days following. Make note of those changes and start getting treated for the car accident injury you are experiencing.

Who to Call After a Car Accident

  1. If you were involved in a car accident and you were not at fault, you may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party if you have sustained injuries and incurred medical bills as a result. You can certainly file a lawsuit on your own, but you have a much better chance of being successful if you have an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney on your side.

It is crucial to contact an attorney immediately to find out key details concerning your specific case. The statute of limitations can range between 1 to 4 years for car accidents in different states, so it is better to handle your car accident sooner rather than later in order to get the best compensation possible.

You can call your car insurance agent and report the car accident even if it was a minor accident. Provide the insurance agent with general details of the car accident, avoiding very specific details. Your insurance company will get a copy of the police report for the specifics.

If you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, remember that you aren’t required to provide any details of the accident. In fact, you aren’t required by law to answer any questions at all. The other agent may try to trip you up, especially if the car accident was their client’s fault.

call us

A personal injury attorney will be able to gather evidence on your behalf and help you hold the person responsible for your car accident accountable for their actions. They will also be able to handle all conversations between your car insurance and the at-fault party’s insurance.

If you have been involved in a car accident and need assistance, call our office. Our team of personal injury attorneys is here for you during this difficult time. We will review the details of your accident and help you determine what steps to take next. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation and discover more about how we can help you.

Have questions? Call our accident attorneys at (800) 560-5059 anytime, we're here to help
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About the Author

Michael Steinger
Michael Steinger

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MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.