According to the statistics, almost six million vehicle accidents happen annually in the US. No matter how little the accident, you may not be able to think straight after the impact, so it’s wise to arm yourself with knowledge before you need it. Here are some things to do both at the scene and afterward to facilitate the claims procedure.

Check If Anyone’s Injured

Your main concern after an accident should be ensuring your safety, so finding out whether anybody is hurt is an important first step after an accident. Before you look for apparent injuries on your passengers, make sure you examine yourself. Keep calm and check on everyone involved; no matter how small the accident is, injuries may happen. Do your best to not move until medical help arrives if you have sustained a serious injury.

Move to a Safe Spot

The next thing to do is to pull yourself and a car over to a safe area. To avoid blocking the path of oncoming traffic, pull over to the shoulder if at all possible. To make yourself visible to other vehicles, activate your warning lights. Get off the road and to a safe place if you and your passengers are unable to move the vehicle because of serious injuries or damage; nonetheless, remain at the accident site.

Use the reflective triangles or flares that are part of your emergency equipment to redirect traffic around the accident site and slow it down if you have them. Be cautious when you get up and about, even if you don’t think you’re hurt; this is particularly true if the accident happened on a busy road.

Call the Police

The next step is to call the police and report the collision so they may file an accident report. While it may not be necessary to contact the authorities in the event of a little accident with no injuries or damage, you must do so in the event of a major collision. You can still report the minor accident, but the police will probably not come to the site. Instead of sending officers to the site of a little accident, police choose to employ online reporting in such cases.

If you’ve been in a major accident and want to get a copy of the police report to use with your auto insurance claim, you may do so after you’ve reported the incident. If the police do not show up after an accident, you may get a copy of the report from the insurance company or the police station that is processing your claim. It is also important to get medical help for anybody who is hurt. When you phone 911 to report an accident, paramedics will also come to provide immediate medical assistance.

Consider Contacting a Lawyer

It is recommended that anybody who has been hurt in an accident seek the advice of a professional and reputable lawyer. If you’re hurt and want to know how to read the fine print of your insurance policy, how to fight back if you’re at blame, or how to maximize your settlement, experienced car accident attorneys can assist. A lot of lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they won’t charge you anything until they win you money in damages or a settlement.

Collect Important Evidence

A very important step is to use your smartphone’s camera or pen and paper to gather the contact information (name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number) of all parties involved in the accident. Find out the driver’s connection to the car’s owner if their name doesn’t appear on the registration or insurance documents. The next step is to collect all of the vehicle’s details, such as the year, model, color, license plate, and VIN. If the at-fault party fails to report the collision, we recommend that you get the insurance policy number and contact information of the firm. Get in touch with any eyewitnesses and ask if they would be prepared to provide you with their details and contact information. Also, never give out sensitive information like your Social Security number, insurance policy limitations, or any other personal details. 

Call a Tow Truck if Needed

Depending on how serious the damage is, your vehicle may need towing to a collision repair center. Roadside help is a perk of many people’s motor club memberships, but tow truck services may also be summoned by the police, and driver assistance programs are offered by some manufacturers. Always check the tow truck’s credentials and make a note of its contact information; you can’t trust a tow truck that appears out of nowhere at a collision scene. Several towing scams have been detailed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and one such scam involves having your vehicle towed to a place and then held there until you pay a substantial price.

Keep Medical Evidence

Write down the names of all the medical specialists you see, including physicians, PTs, chiropractors, and others. Furthermore, make a record of all the doctors and hospitals that sent you to additional medical professionals. Keep careful records of all the medications and therapies you take. Medical invoices and records might help prove expenses later, so be sure to ask for copies. To a large extent, they will decide how much your case is worth when it comes time to settle.

Pain and suffering are more difficult to show than medical costs, however. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to document how your injuries have affected your everyday life. Write down the number of days you weren’t able to work, the things you normally would have done but can’t because of your injury, and detail the impact on your family life.

Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic event for everyone. However, following the actions above can ensure the best possible outcome during this hard time. These include making sure everyone is okay and at a safe spot, the road is free for other cars, inspecting the damage, exchanging contact and insurance information, and calling the necessary help. If you follow these procedures, you will have an easier time navigating the accident and its follow-up.