What to Do Immediately After Getting into a Car Accident

No one intends on being a part of an auto accident. However these car wrecks happen to even the best drivers. Some car crashes are simply an inconvenience, whereas others can be life altering. Knowing these simple steps can you help you navigate through an unexpected car accident.

Stay Calm and Check for Injuries

When we panic, we tend to act irrational and can put ourselves and others in danger. Before doing anything, take a deep breath and acknowledge the situation. Most importantly, do not leave the scene of the accident. After you have taken a deep breath, check yourself and any passengers for physical injury or pain.

Stay Safe After the Car Accident

Only move your vehicle if it is in an unsafe area, or blocking traffic. If your vehicle is in a safe location, then leave it there for the police officer’s accident report. In the event your vehicle is still operable, then move the vehicle off the main road and out of traffic.

Take precautions to warn other cars of your presence and of the accident, especially if it’s dark. Make sure all individuals involved in the accident remain in a safe location until assistance arrives.

Call for Assistance

Be sure to assess if anyone involved in the vehicle collision needs immediate medical attention. If so, then make sure that help has been called and is on the way. Cooperate with first responders and accept a recommendation for transportation by an ambulance to seek treatment from a medical facility.

Always consider calling the police, even in the smallest of accidents. The officer will create an accident report to give to your insurance company. When the officer arrives, make sure that you that you have important documents ready to hand to the police. Cooperate with the police and be completely honest.

Exchange Information and Document Everything

After a car accident gather as much information from the other driver and about the scene as you can. North Carolina only requires drivers to exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, driver licenses numbers, and registration numbers.

Still get as much information about the accident as you can, including:

  • The contact information of the other drivers and any passengers
  • Contact information of any witnesses
  • Photographs and videos of damage to the vehicle and the accident scene
  • A copy of the police officer’s official accident report, with the officer’s contact information
  • Your written notes of the accident and any injuries/pain you may be experiencing

Notify your Insurance Company About the Car Wreck

After you are released from the accident scene, notify your auto liability insurance company. Your insurance company will ask you information about the other driver and the scene of the accident.

Give the insurance agent general facts about the accident. You should never comment on who you think is at fault for the accident. Be direct and honest about the injuries and property damage you sustained from the accident.

If you need to provide a crash report, then the NCDMV offers them here.

Contact a Local Law Firm  

Knowing the steps outlined above can better prepare you for when you get in a motor vehicle accident. If you still have questions about your accident in the Charlotte NC region, contact an attorney at Weaver, Bennett, and Bland. You can also read more about traffic violations in North Carolina here.

One of our car accident lawyers can investigate any claims you may have against the other driver. They’ll properly calculate your damages, and negotiate with insurance companies.

About the Author: Katelin Taylor

Katelin is an Associate Attorney with Weaver, Bennett & Bland and she focuses her practice on civil litigation. Katelin’s interest in the law began when she interned with the District Attorney’s office in Richmond County, North Carolina.