What to do & what Not to do Immediately Following an Accident

Car crash dangerous accident on the road. SUV car crashing beside another one on the road.

We never plan to be in an accident, which is the prime reason we are often unprepared to deal with such an event. But it is important to be aware of what is essential, and what not to do. Some things are essential, and many of these need to be done in a certain timescale.

Make Sure Everyone is OK

It can be a shock to the system, but immediately check if everyone is safe and assess any injuries. Check the position of where the vehicle is, and make sure that you exit the vehicle, where safe to do so, and stay a safe distance from the accident and the highway. If emergency medical treatment is required, call an ambulance and attends to the injured party, compress any bleeding wounds, or move the party into the recovery position.

Be Careful What You Say

When talking to the other driver, be careful as to what you say. Do not admit liability until the facts have been assessed. For many of us, it is human nature to say sorry, just as politeness. Avoid this as far as possible, as it could be mistaken for taking the blame.

Survey the Scene & Take Notes

Have a look at what happened, take detailed notes, including photographs. It’s essential to do it as quickly as possible so that the scene is as undisturbed as possible. Look at the position of the collision, was one vehicle on the wrong side of the road? If you have a phone or camera, photos can help with this task. There’s no such thing as too much info.

Know Who you are Dealing With

It’s important to get the details of who you are dealing with. Swap insurance details as soon as possible and gets the claim going as soon as possible. This is usually straightforward if you are dealing with another individual. But if you’re in a truck accident you could find yourself dealing with the companies legal department, and this can get a little tricky. You should expect to be made low-ball offers in an attempt to pay you off on the cheap. Resist any of these offers and wait for a full settlement.

Call the Police

Call the police as this is a legal requirement in most places and will give you an official report on the incident. This report can be useful if there are any legal disagreements about liability. The police can defuse the situation and help work out where the blame is, and arrange for the clean-up of the scene.

Look to the Future

You will need to assess how this will affect the rest of your life. If you are going to need any ongoing medical needs or therapy, then this should be taken into account when making any claim against the other driver. You should have your lawyer calculate the cost of your medical expenses throughout your lifetime and have this added to any claim.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.