Written by: In the Community

Checklist: What To Do After a Car Accident

An accident is an ordeal, but knowing what to do immediately after can make things much easier. Keep these things to make the incident slightly easier.

Checklist: What To Do After a Car Accident

Almost all of us will be involved in an auto accident at some point; if you drive enough, it’s practically inevitable. Do you know what to do in the event of a collision? We’ve put together a handy checklist of what to do after a car accident to improve the unpleasant experience.

Ensure Everyone’s Safety

Safety is always the priority, so ensure that you, your passengers, and everyone else involved are alright in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident. If anyone requires medical attention, even if it seems minor, call 911 immediately and explain the situation.

If everyone is OK, turn on the hazard lights and move the cars out of the way. If it’s a significant collision with much debris, let the police handle it and stay off the road safely.

Exchange Information

Once everyone’s safe and the police are on their way, it’s good to exchange information right away. Don’t worry about whose fault it is—that’ll get sorted in the accident report. Information you should swap with other drivers in the accident includes:

  • Contact info (phone number, email address, etc.)
  • Vehicle info (make, model, year, and license plate)
  • Insurance information (phone number, policy number)

If there are witnesses to the incident, such as pedestrians nearby or other drivers who saw but were not involved, get their contact information. They may be helpful to your insurance claim later on.

Document Scene

The police will document the scene themselves, but you should also start a file of notes and photos on your phone of the accident. Use your phone’s notes app if you don’t have a paper to jot down your immediate recollection of what happened in as much detail as possible.

Take photos of all the damage you can see on your car and damage to the other vehicles involved in the accident. If you have injuries, photograph those immediately, too. It’s always a good idea to be thorough when dealing with insurance.

Contact Insurance

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, or if you have a spare couple of minutes, contact your insurance company as soon as you can. It’ll get the ball rolling on filing a claim so you can get through the process faster.

Plus, if your car needs towing, an insurance company might be able to handle sending a tow truck to the scene and bringing it to an auto collision shop, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Track Repairs & Treatment

Eventually, you’ll leave the scene, but that doesn’t mean the incident is over. Keep any receipts and other documents related to repairs or medical treatment stemming from the accident for future insurance purposes.

If your vehicle requires repairs, you’ll need a detailed repair estimate for your future claim. Sometimes, pain and soreness won’t be noticeable until the next day, but you should still keep track of it and add it to your claim.

There’s a lot to do after a car accident than we’ve listed here. Now you know the gist of what to do after a collision to make the process simpler and allow you to return to everyday life quickly.

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Last modified: June 6, 2022