Going through a car accident is hard.
If anything, it can be one of the hardest experiences of your life.
When I was in a car accident a few years ago, I was not physically injured but the trauma still sticks with me until this day. If anything, going through that accident changed me. It taught me how to persevere through difficult times and be a safer driver.
Based on my experience, I wish I knew the best possible tips on what to do after a serious accident. If anything, I probably made some of the worst financial mistakes of my life if I knew better.
So what should YOU do after a potentially serious car accident? Let’s find out.
1. Get To Safety
No matter where you are, it should always be a priority to get to a place of safety.
Whether the accident happened on a freeway or at an intersection, you need to find a place where you and the other driver can meet safely. Make sure that there are witnesses in the area where you can easily get their contact information to save for a later time.
Some easy places to get to safety include going to the parking lot of a gas station or fast food restaurant right off of the freeway.
2. Exchange Information With The Other Driver
Before you start doing anything else, get the other drivers contact information.
Get photos of their insurance information, license plate, and phone number. Obtaining this information in a timely manner can help you file an insurance claim sooner rather than later.
3. Take Photos of the Scene
Take any photos that you can of the accident with any mobile device.
Most modern smartphones have a camera, making it easy to get photos of the accident and the surrounding area. In addition, you should also take photos of your injuries if applicable. Even if you may not be injured, it is important to document any emotional distress that you might be going through at any point in time.
4. Call the Police and 911 If Necessary
After exchanging information with the other party, call 911. Even if there are no serious injuries, calling 911 and having a police report be filed can be even more helpful when filing a potential insurance or personal injury claim. A police report can be filed if you call 911 and specifically request the police to come to your area.
5. Do NOT Admit Fault
Even if you may be at fault for a car accident, do not admit fault.
Anything that you say to the police or to the other driver will be held against you in a court of law. A few months ago, my friend was in another serious car accident and the other driver tried to record her and have her admit that she was at fault.
Thankfully, my friend did not admit fault, but if she did, that would significantly weaken the strength of a potential insurance or personal injury claim.
6. Notify The Insurance Company
Next, you need to notify the insurance company after your car accident. You can usually follow the steps for filing an insurance claim online through your insurance provider’s website, depending on your provider.
7. Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Before you even speak with an insurance adjuster or representative, you need to get in touch with an experienced Salt Lake City personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies and adjusters want to settle claims as quickly and as easily as possible, but personal injury attorneys can help the insurance companies pay people the maximum compensation that they deserve.
Stay Safe Today
Just as you have gone through what is probably one of the hardest times of your life, it is always important to remember what you should do after a car accident, whether you get in one with an SUV or an 18-wheeler.
Remember, it is always most important to put your safety first, rather than your life and potential compensation on the line.