If you get behind the wheels of a car, chances are at some point in your life you will get into some kind of car accident. As a result, you will need a car accident checklist of what to do following the accident.
The most critical moments following a car accident are the moments immediately after. There are several things you will need to take care of at the scene of the accident, which usually cannot be recreated later on.
- Make Sure Everyone is Okay. Before you worry about insurance premiums or car accident liability, you should make sure everyone is okay and safe. This goes for both you and your passengers and if possible the passengers of the other vehicles involved. Of course, make sure that you are out of harm's way before checking on others.
- Stay at the Scene. For minor accidents or accidents where you are clearly at fault, you may have the short-lived desire to just flee the scene. This is NEVER a good idea. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime, and the last thing you want is criminal liability to go along with the liability for the car accident.
- Call the Police and Exchange Personal Information. Depending upon the severity of the accident, you may need to call the cops. If someone is injured or if there is serious property damage, you should generally call the cops. For most minor fender-benders, you can probably simply exchange personal information with the other driver and not involve the police.
- Talk to Witnesses. Probably the only opportunity you will have to talk to witnesses to an accident is immediately following an accident. Try to get their contact information if possible.
- Take Pictures. The best photos documenting an accident are usually the photos taken right at the scene of the accident. Your insurance company may later ask for such photos, and you should take a few pictures if possible of the damage.
Hopefully, you won't need to utilize these steps any time soon. However, it is better to be prepared than unprepared.