What to Do After a Car Accident
Car Accidents are scary. Airbags and seat belts help reduce fatalities. Statistically, the majority of auto accidents happen close to home, often when you least expect it. The experience, even without major injuries, can leave drivers and passengers shaky and confused.
At the Crilly Insurance Agency, with Maryland offices in Annapolis, Catonsville and Edgewater, we receive calls from our clients asking for basic advice on what to do after they’ve been in an accident. Before you even file your claim, here are some tips on what to do immediately after an auto accident.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
- Take a deep breath. Do not move until you access that your situation. IF there are injuries such as broken bones and spinal injuries, wait for the help of a licensed professional, unless you need to immediately get away from your vehicle due to a ruptured fuel tank or a dangerous location.. If you do move, move slowly. If medical professionals on the scene do not take you via ambulance to the ER, you will want to visit your doctor in the next 24 hours to ascertain if you have any injuries in the event you’ve have been in a major collision. Often due to shock and adrenalin injuries may not be initially recognized.
- Take photographs of any damages, take notes and exchange and gather information. Record contact information for any witnesses. You’ll need the registration, driver’s license and the plates in addition to the name of their insurance company. If the police are involved they will file an accident report.
- Do not discuss who was at fault with the other driver. If you are able to clearly state what happened to the police, give them a statement of what happened, as it is their job to gather information.
- If possible, do not leave the scene of the accident before the police and other drivers involved have left.
- If you have sustained any injuries, start a file containing information on all the doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals that you receive treatment from, and each medical provider that referred you to other caregivers. Keep a detailed account of the treatments or medications you receive. Your health care provider may recommend rest and time. off from working in which case they will write “an excuse” statement for your employer. Keep a log of how much work you have missed as a result of your injuries. If lost pay is involved, make certain you have documents to prove loss of income. Other losses, such as ability to participate in recreational and family activities can be harder to prove, but keep a running log of how injuries have impacted your lifestyle.
- Report the accident to the claims department of your insurance company and to your local insurance agent. If you need a rental car, it may be covered in you policy and/or be covered by the policy of the “driver at fault” in the accident. If it is clear that the other driver caused the accident, particularly if you have a large deductible, you may want to report your claim in to the other driver’s insurance company using the information you already gathered (policy number, name of the driver, time of accident etc.). At Crilly Insurance we’ll try to help you get through the claims process as painlessly as possible.