Let’s face it: accidents happen. Experts estimate that the average American has a collision once every 18 years (Forbes). This means that even the most proactive driver will likely be involved in a wreck during their lifetime.
What are the First Things I Need To Do After an Accident
Unfortunately, you can’t control other drivers on the road. You can, however, be prepared if you are hit by another car. Here are three things we recommend everyone do at the scene of an accident.
- First, check for injuries in both cars and call 911. The 911 operator will be able to help determine whether you need an ambulance at the scene. Most people don’t have the number of their local department memorized, so the operator will also help connect you to a police officer who will report to the scene.
- Get a police report. This includes making sure the police are called and that a report is filed. You’ll need an accident report to file an insurance claim.
- Gather information and evidence. You’ll need the driver’s contact details and insurance information, contact information for witnesses, and pictures of the scene. Use your phone and take photos of as much as possible.
Learn more about the best steps to take immediately after an accident: Car Wreck 101.
Should I See a Doctor After a Car Wreck
If you were injured in an accident, getting medical care is essential. How can you be sure you’re making the best decisions for your physical health?
- First, evaluate your level of pain. Some injuries require immediate, emergency care: major bleeding, head trauma, broken bones, and breathing difficulties.
- If you opt-out of a trip to the Emergency Room, it’s still important to set up an appointment with your Primary Care Physician to rule out major injuries and catch any developing issues.
Car Wreck 102: Medical Care After a Car Wreck answers more of the medical questions you may have as an injury victim, including when to see a chiropractor.
What Not To Do After a Car Wreck
In 30 years of helping accident victims, we’ve learned a great deal about maximizing recovery and minimizing damages. That includes a few mistakes to avoid – what not do after a car wreck.
- DON’T agree to sort things out with the other driver, rather than reporting the wreck to the police. Always call the authorities.
- DON’T leave the scene without getting detailed information, including contact info for any potential witnesses.
- DON’T downplay your injuries. If you’re feeling soreness, let the attending officers know.
Visit Car Wreck 103: What Not to Do for our full list of after-accident “don’ts.”
What If I’ve Been in an Accident and Still Have Questions
A car accident is a traumatic event. Unfortunately, the stress of dealing with insurance and the logistics following a wreck can make things worse. If you’ve been in an accident and have questions, you can visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or call us at (870) 246-0505 or toll-free at 1(800) CAR-WRECK.
You’ll speak with an experienced team member prepared to help you find the answers you’re looking for.