The Ultimate Car Accident Checklist
6 Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Car accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, regardless of your driving experience, type of vehicle, or the area you drive in. Though some accidents are less serious than others, drivers should be aware of the appropriate steps to take in order to keep everyone involved safe.
Knowing exactly what should be done in the moments following a car accident can help you and others involved to remain calm, and avoid further trouble. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a car accident checklist so you can be prepared and know just what you need to do. Continue reading to learn six things that you should do following a car accident.
How Fault is Determined
After making sure you and your passengers are clear of any injuries, the next question that usually follows is, “was that my fault?”
Sometimes it is obvious who’s at fault, especially if it was a rear-ending accident, but it’s not always clear at first. Typically, fault in auto accidents is determined by the insurance company, however it’s not always an easy determination.
In order to get to the bottom of who’s at fault, your insurance company must gather relevant information detailing what exactly occurred from every party involved — this includes bystanders and eye-witnesses. Once statements are taken, your insurance company will determine who caused or contributed to the crash. Once the decision is made on who’s at fault, an insurance company will cover the expense of treatment for injuries and repair of vehicles involved in the accident.
What if Fault Can’t be Determined?
There are many cases where neither of the parties involved want to admit fault to causing a car accident. When this happens, witnesses and bystanders who were present at the time of the accident will share what happened, and if all of their stories match, it can solidify a case. Additionally, if there are no witnesses, traffic cameras can be used as evidence and can be reviewed to help determine fault.
6 Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
The moments following a car accident can be overwhelming and scary, however, keeping a car accident checklist can make all the difference. Let’s discuss six steps that you should take after you’ve been involved in a car accident.
1. Check Yourself and Passengers for Injuries
The first thing that you should do after an accident is make sure that you and your passengers are safe and free from any injuries. Sometimes under stress, adrenaline kicks in and you may not even feel or notice that you’re hurt, so it is important to thoroughly check. Additionally, you should call an ambulance as soon as possible if you or any of your passengers sustained injuries from the accident.
2. Do Not Move the Vehicle Unless It’s Blocking Traffic
If you’re only involved in a minor crash and your vehicle is blocking the flow of traffic, it is appropriate to safely move it to avoid any further collisions. When you don’t move your car out of the way of traffic, it could cause a pileup accident. However, when you move the vehicle out of the way, you can safely discuss details of the accident with the other driver, police, and bystanders.
There are a few situations where your vehicle should not be moved after a car accident. These situations include:
- If the vehicle has been totaled and can’t run properly.
- If someone is injured and moving the vehicle could worsen their injuries.
- If there is too much debris on the road due to the collision.
3. Call 911
Even if there is little damage, you should always call 911 if you’re involved in a car accident. Calling the police is essential, and in some states legally required, as you will need a police report in order to make a valid claim for damages. The best course of action to take is to remain at the scene of the accident, exchange information with the other driver(s), and await further instruction from law enforcement.
4. Make Detailed Notes of the Accident
Once the police are at the scene and talking to witnesses and drivers, you should try to write down everything you remember from the accident. It’s important to make note of the moments leading up to the collision, the date, location, and time of the crash, as well as the direction that you were driving and what each vehicle involved was doing.
5. Take Photos of Damaged Vehicle’s
Photos taken from the scene of a car accident can show proof of damage from the collision, as well as what contributing factors may have played a role in causing the accident. Photos are helpful because they can show injuries and vehicle damage that can be used as evidence when negotiating with insurance adjusters. Additionally, memory proves to be unreliable, especially in a crisis, so taking photos can help remind you of details you may have forgotten about.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
It’s crucial that you call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the car accident. This is such an important step of your car accident checklist, and if ignored, you may not be able to recover your losses. The best thing to do is call your insurance provider while you’re still on the scene so they can instruct you on the necessary steps to take in order for you to get back on the road as soon as possible.
If Your Vehicle is Totaled, Contact Burlington Kia
Although we hope that you never have to experience a car accident, it’s important that you follow these steps on our car accident checklist so that you can avoid further unpleasant consequences. In the event that your vehicle is totaled after a collision, don’t hesitate to come down to Burlington Kia to browse our vast selection of available vehicles. Visit our website or use the button below to contact us about our available inventory.