Most car wrecks occur unexpectedly, and in the immediate aftermath, you may be most concerned with assessing any injuries you or your passengers suffered during the incident. You would be remiss, however, not to take certain steps immediately following a car crash, because failing to do so may lead to considerable trouble down the line. Knowing what steps to take after a car wreck is important because it may help calm your nerves, and it also may help you deal with your insurance company in the days or weeks that follow.
According to AARP, once you are able to determine the extent of the injuries suffered by those involved in the wreck, you should call either 911 or the police. A 911 call may be necessary if there are injured parties, but otherwise, you are going to want to have authorities on the scene to create a crash report. Next, you are going to want to exchange full contact information with the other party or parties involved in the wreck, taking care to get their address, email address, phone number, license plate number and insurance information.
A third important step to take following a car crash involves extensively documenting the scene with your cellphone. Be sure to snap photos from multiple angles, and take care to photograph anything else that may have contributed to the crash, such as road hazards or construction. While documenting the scene in photos is critical, so, too, is writing down a description of what happened using as much detail as possible.
It also may serve you well to contact your insurance company promptly after a crash. The claims process often takes time, so you may want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Find more on car crashes on our webpage.