What You Should Do After You Get in a Car Accident

Do you know what to do after you get in a car accident? Craig Swapp gives you some expert advice.
Craig Swapp addresses the common mistakes people make immediately after a car accident (even minor fender-benders). 

What Should You Do First When You Get in a Car Accident?
  • Most importantly, the first thing you should always do is to check on your own welfare and those in your vehicle, followed by those in the other vehicles(s). Call for an ambulance if someone has been injured.
Is it okay to just drive away if the damage in minor?
  • Not necessarily. Some people shrug off minor injuries at the time of the accident, but those soft tissue injuries could become more painful over the next couple days and require medical attention. That’s why it’s always important to exchange driver, vehicle and insurance information after an accident, even if there appears to be no damage or injuries.
  • If you are involved in an automobile accident, you should never leave the accident scene; otherwise, you could face criminal charges. The only exception to this is when a police dispatcher tells you a police officer cannot respond to a typical fender-bender accident.
What else should you remember after an accident?
  • Make sure your vehicle is not creating a hazard to other motorists by moving it from traffic, when possible. Accidents on the freeway and major roads can dramatically impede the flow of traffic, and it’s always recommended to move the cars, if the cars are drivable.
  • Be sure to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses, or others involved in the accident.
  • It is also a good idea to take photographs to document skid marks, vehicle damage (both vehicles), road obstructions and weather conditions at the time of the accident (icy or wet roads, etc.)
If you think you caused the accident, isn’t it best to admit it?
  • Never admit liability to the other driver or to the investigating policeman—this is a legal matter that will be investigated later. A number of factors need to be considered before liability is assigned to one or maybe both drivers.
What if the police cannot respond to your accident?
  • On some busy “bad weather” days, the police may not be able to respond to many fender-bender accidents. If this is the case, make sure you get the following information from the other driver: full name and license number (from the license), insurance policy number and agent information (from insurance card), make and model of car and license information (from the registration).
  • Use your phone to photography or videotape the accident scene: including all involved cars, accident location, visible injuries and record witness statements. This is critical evidence needed to build your case with the insurance company.
  • If the damages exceed $500 and/or someone is injured, call the police and make sure an accident report is filed.
Visit www.CraigSwapp.com for more information

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