What Should You Do after a Car Accident?

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Car Crash | Personal Injury AttorneysThe seconds, minutes, and hours after a car accident can be incredibly chaotic. When you’re shaken by a crash, it can be hard to think straight and consider your next steps.

Unfortunately, it’s more likely than not that you will be in a car accident at some point in your life: millions of accidents happen each year. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for this possibility. We want you and your family to stay safe, so we’ve compiled a list of the steps from a recent Cars.com article that you should take when you’ve been in an auto accident (whether with a car, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.).

First, think about safety. If anyone is injured, dial 911. If it is a minor car accident and you can safely move your vehicle off of the road, do it. Call the police to notify them of the accident (unless the accident involves something very minor, such as a scratched door).

After you’ve made sure that everyone involved is safe or receiving medical attention, then you can move on to gathering information. Ask the other driver involved for the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Make, model, and year of car
  • License plate number
  • Insurance carrier and policy number

You should also ask for a copy of the accident report from the police. This report will come in handy if there is a dispute over who is to blame for the crash. When you’re talking to the other driver, it’s important not to admit fault. Of course, you’re probably sorry that the accident happened. But if you say so, the insurance company could later use your words against you.

After you have all of the necessary information, take pictures of the scene of the accident. This will become important evidence later when you have to file an insurance claim. Take pictures of your vehicle’s damage, the other vehicle’s damage, and the location of the accident.

With all of the above said and done, you can file a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will investigate the claim and determine how much it will pay.

In the days and weeks following a car accident, you should take special care to make note of any aches or pains. Some injuries may not show up until later. You should make sure that if you do feel something wrong, you see a doctor as soon as possible. Don’t wait to get medical attention, as that may make your injury worse.

If your car accident was caused by someone else and you want to know your legal options, please contact our office. You may be able to get compensation for the medical bills and other expenses that you have as a result of the accident.

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About Jenn Messick

I am an attorney practicing at M/V Alaska Law, an Anchorage, AK law firm helping clients all throughout Alaska navigate legal issues in divorce, family law, probate, and bankruptcy. I'm an outdoors person who enjoys hiking, skiing, hunting, spending time with family, and the beautiful scenery in Alaska. Jenn Messick's Google+ Profile

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