WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT




Accidents are unfortunately a risk that every driver, whether new or experienced, takes on when they get behind the wheel of a car. Despite taking all of the right precautions, from driving defensively to avoiding unnecessary distractions, accidents can and often do occur. When they do happen, they can range from minor incidents with minimal damage to major crashes that result in serious property or physical damage. While accidents may not always be preventable, it is important for every driver to be prepared for the possibility of one. Understanding what to do and what not to do may prevent complications with insurance and can help police to accurately determine fault.


Car accidents are jarring, both literally and figuratively. Immediately following a crash, the driver will likely feel a combination of emotions that may include anger, shock, fear, and even guilt if they believe they are responsible. Drivers should take a moment or two to take several deep breaths. This will help them to calm down so they are better able to deal with the situation and the other driver. In addition, this also gives them time to assess any physical injury to themselves. If there are passengers in the car, verify that they are also OK. If at fault, never drive away from the scene of the accident. A hit-and-run is a serious crime that can lead to arrest and loss of one's driving privileges.



While waiting for the police, drivers will want to avoid doing anything that could indicate guilt or affect the investigation of the accident. They have a responsibility to provide the other driver or drivers with their contact information. In addition, it is important to document the scene, which means taking pictures with one's camera or cell phone. While waiting for the police to arrive, talk with anyone who may have witnessed the accident. When talking to the other driver, do not admit guilt or offer any unnecessary information to the other driver or to anyone, even the insurance agent.