Collision Crisis: Key Steps to Take After An Accident

Collision Crisis: Key Steps to Take After An Accident

Boom! Your neck jerks forward in the driver’s seat and the airbags deploy. You’ve been in an accident and most of all, you feel full of dread. What do you do now? Do you need a lawyer? In most cases, the accident can be handled by taking a few necessary steps.


Evaluate and Get to Safety

First, take a breath. Evaluate yourself and your passengers to see if there are injuries. If everyone is mobile, get out of the car and move to safety. That may mean heading to the roadside or a nearby sidewalk. In the first few minutes of an accident, other cars on the road may not notice what has happened yet, or that there is a collision in the roadway, so getting everyone out of the way of traffic should be step number one. 


Call for Help

You should call 911 and alert the police. If there are potential injuries, they will dispatch an ambulance. Even if the accident is a small one, the police will come to guide traffic around your car or help you move it (if possible) out of the roadway.

It’s important to call the police even if your accident is a minor fender-bender because you need the police report. An official police report helps determine who was at fault and will be key in your insurance claim. While waiting for the police, you should use your phone to snap pictures of the incident in case the other party moves their vehicle prematurely.


Contact Your Insurance

Always contact your insurance company, even if you are not to blame. The other driver may not have insurance or their insurance company may fight the claim. It’s always better to inform your agent as soon as possible. File a claim, and when you get the police report, send them a copy. Include any photos you have taken. Give them all the evidence you possibly can in order to expedite your claim.


Do not agree if the other driver asks you not to involve the insurance companies. They may offer to pay for the damage directly or make some other arrangement. That route is full of risk and can find you paying for an accident you did not cause. Also, you could later face liability issues.


Company Vehicles

If you are in a company vehicle, contact the police but then contact your employer. They provide insurance for their vehicles, so in most instances, their insurance company will handle the claim. If you were violating company policy or the terms of your hire, the situation might become more complex. Companies usually have lawyers to help communicate with the insurance companies for these kinds of claims. 

If the accident was not your fault, then the company car can be replaced. Make sure to take care of yourself and any injuries you may have before worrying about the vehicle.


After the Collision

Remember that the well-being of everyone involved in the collision is the priority. Make certain everyone is okay and in a safe place or that help is on the way. Vehicles can be fixed or replaced, and insurance companies usually take care of things rather quickly. 

Do report the accident to the police, take pictures if possible, and seek medical care if needed. The police report is key to the insurance company’s claims, so make certain your company gets a copy. Do not try and handle the situation “off the books.” You can end up liable for injuries and repairs if you do, which may require a lawyer to help settle.


Collisions are always stressful, but you’ll bounce back faster if you take the right steps immediately after.