There are over 5 million car accidents in the US every year. That’s 14,386 per year or one every six minutes.
The most common causes of car accidents include drinking, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, distractedness, and drowsiness. These factors can be prevented, but you’ll still have a 1 in 63 chance of getting into a collision.
If you’re wondering what to do after a car accident, read on to learn the 4 most important steps.
1. Check for Injuries
43% of car accidents result in injuries. That adds up to 6,252 or 4 every minute.
Get off the road and warn other drivers with vests, hazard lights, or anything else you have on hand. Call emergency services if you need to, whether it’s an ambulance or the fire department.
Not all auto accident injuries are obvious. Get medical attention as soon as possible to check for hidden issues such as head trauma.
2. Exchange Insurance Information and Document the Incident
Most car accident laws only require you to give your name and insurance information to other drivers involved in the accident. You may also want to get their contact information.
Make sure to take photos of any damage, the other drivers’ license plate, and other important details. Take note of the date and time of the accident, the speed you were driving, and the road conditions.
3. Work With the Police
The law also dictates whether or not you’re required to call the police after a car accident. Most states say that you have to if anyone is injured or dies or if three or more vehicles collide with each other.
You may want to consider calling the police even if you don’t have to. Their official reports are a valuable source of information when you file a claim. Make sure to describe the situation to them truthfully, completely, and accurately without discussing who’s at fault.
4. File a Claim and Get a Lawyer
Hiring an attorney is an important step. They’ll make sure you get the right compensation for any damage or injuries you suffered. They can help determine who’s at fault and whether or not you should file an insurance claim.
Always get more info about a car accident lawyer before you hire them. The most important thing is to check how often they’ve helped their clients win their cases.
The average American makes a minor accident claim once every three years, a comprehensive claim once every 10 years, and a claim for serious accidents or damage every 18 years.
Call your own insurance company first. Follow that up with a call to the insurance company of the driver who was at fault.
Make sure to file as soon as possible because most companies have a deadline. Send them all the information you’ve gathered about the accident.
More on What to Do After a Car Accident
Panicking is the worst thing you can do after a car accident, and being prepared is the best way to prevent this.
Start by pulling off the road and checking to see if anyone was injured. Exchange insurance information and document the incident. Work with the police, then find a lawyer to help you file a claim.
Read the rest of our content for more tips on what to do after a car accident and how to get the most from your insurance claim.