There are over 6 million car accidents in America every year. 

According to statistics, one of those accidents will eventually involve you. On average, most people get into some kind of car accident every 17 to 18 years. 

But you never know when that might happen. 

That’s why it’s important to know what to do afterward now.

We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the process of what you should do after a car accident. 

So keep reading below!

Stay Calm

The first thing you should do in an accident is to stay calm. 

Give yourself a few moments to gather your thoughts and take some deep breathes. Don’t let yourself get angry, even if the accident was the other driver’s fault. 

Getting angry won’t help the situation, and the other driver might be able to use anything you say or do in anger against you later. 

So do your best to stay calm. 

Move to a Safe Location

If you can, drive your car to the side of the road after your accident. This will get you away from the flow of traffic on the road and protect you from other potential dangers. 

Don’t try to move your car if it seems unsafe to do so. Instead, turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers know there’s something wrong. 

Make Sure You (And Anyone Else Involved in the Accident) Is Okay

Once you’re in a safe location, you should make sure you and anyone else involved in the crash is okay. 

Check your surroundings before you get out of the car to make sure it’s safe. Then talk to other drivers and passengers to find out if they have any injuries. 

If someone is unconscious, avoid moving them if you can. They might have a head, neck, or back injury that could get worse when you move them. But make sure you keep an eye on them to ensure their safety. 

Always move injured persons if they’re in immediate danger, such as if the car is at risk of exploding. 

Call 911

You should always call 911 after an accident. Do this even if no one is injured. 

Having police on the scene can make a big difference in several ways. 

First of all, they can direct you through the process of exchanging information if you aren’t sure what to do next. They can also help you stay calm knowing help is there should you need it. 

Police can deal with difficult drivers. They can also make it easier to work with your insurance company later. 

Cooperate with everything the police says. 

However, don’t admit fault in any way, even if you think you’re to blame. Let the police look at the accident objectively and decide who’s at fault. 

Exchange Information 

You’ll want to write down a bunch of information after a car accident. Start by exchanging relevant contact and insurance information with the other driver (or drivers). 

This should include the following: 

  • Driver’s name
  • Passenger names 
  • Phone number and basic contact information of everyone involved
  • Make, model, and year of any car involved
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance company and policy number 

You should also write down the location of the accident. Ask any police officers at the scene for their names and badge numbers. 

Don’t sign any document at the scene unless it’s something for the police or your insurance policy. Still, it’s better to avoid signing anything if you can. 

Talk to Witnesses 

You should also gather information from any witnesses at the crash scene. They can help back up your story of the car accident when you make your insurance claim. 

Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. 

Take Pictures of the Scene

If you have a smartphone with a camera (or just a normal camera), take several pictures of the scene. Focus on documenting the damage to your vehicle, but make sure you also get photos of any other car involved in the crash. 

Again, these pictures will be helpful when you’re filing your insurance claim. They’ll prove your car sustained the amount of damage you said it did. 

Seek Medical Attention

You should always seek medical attention after a car accident even if you don’t feel any pain. 

Why?

Some common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, may not show up until the next morning. Visiting a hospital, doctor’s office, or chiropractor can help you catch injuries you didn’t know you had early on. 

This can prevent them from getting any worse. But it will also document any injuries you may have, which can help with your insurance claim. 

File an Insurance Claim

Depending on your insurance company, you can start working on your insurance claim while you’re still at the scene of the accident. While this might be a good option for you, give yourself more time to go over the claim later when you’ve had a chance to calm down. 

Don’t think you’re getting enough compensation?

You might want to consider hiring a lawyer. They’ll help you with your insurance claim and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. 

If you’re not sure how to file an insurance claim, begin by calling your insurance company. They’ll be able to tell you what you need to do and the best way to get started. 

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

Your main priority after a car accident should be your safety and the safety of anyone else involved in the crash. Once you know everyone’s okay and called for the appropriate help, you should document the scene and exchange information. 

Don’t forget to seek medical attention. 

A chiropractor can help you treat common car accident injuries. 

Not sure where to find a chiropractor after an accident? Click here to take a look at some of our services and learn how we can help you. 

- Elite Spine and Health Center
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