Having a car accident is not an experience that anybody dreams of having. Just like most accidents or tragedies, we assume it’s the kind of thing that happens to other people, not us – meaning that many people are unprepared for the aftermath when a crash does occur.
In this post, we will take you through five essential steps to take after you are in a car accident. Whether the accident was very minimal or quite serious, these steps should be taken no matter what. Even if you have never been in a crash, you should read this guide to help you prepare in case one does happen in the future!
Let’s take a look at five things to do after a car accident.
As soon as the accident has happened, it is important that you contact the relevant authorities. If you or someone else involved in the crash have been injured, you will need to call for an ambulance right away, even if the injuries don’t appear severe. Car accidents can cause people to hit their heads, so they could be concussed, even if they appear to just have a few cuts and bruises.
In addition, if you aren’t injured but your car is damaged, it is imperative that you call for breakdown cover in order for your car to be towed away. It is unsafe to drive a car that has been in an accident, even if the car doesn’t appear to be too badly damaged. If you do, you may not be able to claim on your insurance policy afterwards.
In addition to the immediate authorities you should contact such as the police or ambulance service, you should also be in contact with a lawyer like those available at Kania Law. A personal injury lawyer could represent you if you determine that the crash wasn’t your fault.
After you have spoken with the relevant authorities about the accident, it’s time to document what has happened. You need all the evidence of damages to be crystal clear, in order to make a claim with your insurance company, or even if the accident ends up going through legal proceedings.
Using your smartphone, you should photograph:
- Any scuffs, dents, scratches or smashed lights on the exterior of your car.
- The state of your car’s tired after the accident.
- Any cracked or smashed glass.
- Interior damage from the release of air bags or impact.
In addition to documenting all the damage to your car, you need to also take the time to document your own injuries. These could include:
- Photographing cuts, bruises, scrapes or any other physically visible injuries you have.
- Writing down any symptoms you have, such as dizziness, pain in your body, or other invisible symptoms.
Why should you document things after a car accident? Simply put, the more evidence you can compile of the effects of your accident, the easier it will be to claim compensation later (if this is what you decide to do).
Car insurance exists to help you during difficult times like the aftermath of a crash. That’s why you pay for it, right? So why do some people choose NOT to make a claim, even if they could?
This strategy is often played out when the driver decides that the amount they would pay to fix the car themselves, is actually less than they’d pay for their future insurance policy after making a claim.
Making an insurance claim means that the price is likely to skyrocket the next time you renew your policy, because you are seen as a greater risk to the insurance company. If the damage to your car is minimal, such as only a few scrapes or scratches, it may actually be cheaper to pay out of pocket rather than claiming. That way, you can keep your low insurance price next time you renew.
However, if the damage to your car is severe, or the car is written off, it is best that you claim on your insurance policy. While claiming will make your insurance more expensive next time, it will also help you to pay for the damages in the here and now.
An auto body professional is somebody who can take a comprehensive look at your car’s internal and external damage. After a small car accident, one that doesn’t do much harm to your vehicle, you might be tempted to just carry on driving it without having it checked out.
However, some damage that can be caused by minor car accidents can be highly dangerous, but barely visible to the untrained eye. Aspects of your car such as the brakes, suspension and engine can be affected without you realising it, making your car dangerous to drive without immediate repairs.
Taking your car in for a checkup might be a little pricey, but it is absolutely worth seeing whether anything needs to be fixed before you get behind the wheel again.
Finally, one of the most important steps to take after getting into a car accident is having yourself checked over by a doctor. Just like your car could be damaged without you knowing, you may have some injuries that might not appear bad at first.
By having a quick medical checkup to see if you are safe to drive again, you could be saving your own life. Although only a tiny percentage of people have bad head injuries from car accidents, you never want to take the chance and skip the checkup.
A medical checkup with your regular doctor, in which you explain what happened, is essential before you start driving again.
Getting into a car crash is an awful thought, but it is always beneficial to be prepared for the worst. Use this guide to help you get through the aftermath of a crash if it does happen!