Three actions you should take after being in a car crash

Being in a car crash can be terrifying. You may never expect to be in a car crash, but you can be prepared in case it happens. One way you can be prepared is by knowing the important actions you should take following a crash. After any car crash you should call for help, gather and report information, and schedule a medical examination.

Call for help

In general, you should always pull over in as safe a spot as you can after a crash, so you do not block the roadway or risk being hit by another car. Then, turn on your hazard lights, and see if anyone involved in the accident is injured. If someone is injured, call 911 right away and request an ambulance. When there is an injury, seeking immediate medical care should be a priority.

If the accident causes an injury or at least $500 in property damage, you are required by law to report the accident to police. However, even if there is no injury and you do not think the damage requires a report, you may benefit from calling 911 and requesting a police officer. The police officer will help collect information about the incident and will put that information together in a police report, which may be helpful to you later on is an insurance claim or personal injury claim is filed.

Gather and report information

Next, you should exchange some information with the other drivers who were involved in the crash. This includes the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance companies and policy numbers for every driver involved in the crash. You can also ask witnesses and responding police officers for their names and contact information.

In addition to exchanging information with others at the scene, you may want to take photos of the location of the accident, the vehicles involved and the damage apparent on each vehicle. Many people now carry cellphones with them in the car, which can be a helpful tool  to make phone calls and take photos after an accident.

After gathering the right information, you should notify your insurance company of the accident. This can be done either while you are at the scene or as soon as possible after you are allowed to leave the scene. Notifying your insurance company right away will help the company prepare to file an insurance claim against another driver and prepare in case another driver files an insurance claim against you.

Schedule a medical examination

After you get permission to leave the scene, you should schedule a medical examination as soon as possible. One of the biggest mistakes people make after being in a crash is not following up with a medical examination. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away, but could become worse if left untreated. Also, skipping a medical exam could make it more difficult to receive compensation through any insurance claim or personal injury case you pursue.

Car crashes often come unexpectedly. However, the actions you take after the crash can have a significant impact on your health and your ability to receive compensation. This is why it is important to be prepared by knowing ahead of time the actions you should take after a car crash.

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