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7 Essential Steps To Take Immediately After An Auto Accident

by Layla Bryant

If you are in an automobile accident, there are numerous steps you should take immediately. The aftermath of an auto accident can be physically painfully, emotionally distressing, and financially overwhelming. These seven essential steps are designed to help you through this process as easily and simply as possible.

1. Contact the Police

After an auto accident, you should always call the police. They create a legal record of the accident, and if you ultimately go to court or have to make an insurance claim, that record can be essential.

Some people think that they don't need to call the police if both drivers agree and if there's no visual damage, but you should always take the time to reach out. It can help you a lot down the line. The police can also be instrumental in determining which driver is at fault.

2. Get Insurance Information From the Other Driver

Always get insurance information from the other driver before they leave the site of the accident. The police should check all drivers' IDs and insurance details, but you may also want to get the other driver's details. Don't necessarily just let the other driver give you their name and number. Ask to see their insurance card so you can copy down the details.

If someone hits you and tries to leave the site of the accident without talking with you, make sure to note down their license plate number as well as the make and model of the vehicle. That may be classified as a hit and run.

3. Contact Your Insurer

Always contact your insurer. They can help you communicate with the other driver's insurance company. They can also start the process of repairing your vehicle or paying for your medical bills.

4. Get Medical Help

After an auto accident, you should always make an appointment to visit your regular physician and potentially a chiropractor as well. Even if you don't feel pain, you should still seek medical help. After an accident, your adrenaline surges. That is your body's natural way of helping you survive pain.

You may feel like there's no pain, but in reality, your body may have suffered a lot. A medical professional can help you assess what's really happening. They can also tell you what to look for in the future. For example, tingling in your extremities or a stiff neck may be a sign of whiplash.

5. Take Notes

Make sure to get detailed records from your doctor. Ask for copies of their notes and any x-rays or images they take. Also, make your own records. Take pictures of bruises, and make notes on pain you are experiencing. For example, you may want to make notes such as "the night of the accident, there was intense pain in my lower back" or "the day following the accident, my back hurt every time I moved".

6. Contact an Attorney

Unfortunately, insurance companies alway look for ways to pay out as little as possible. For example, the payment you receive from the other driver's insurance may cover your car repair bills but not your medical bills. In contrast, if you work with an auto accident attorney, they can help you get all the compensation you deserve. That may include compensation for missed time at work, coverage for medical bills and physical therapy, or even payment for pain and suffering.

7. Don't Talk With the Other Driver

Once you get an auto accident attorney, you should not contact the other driver. You don't want to accidentally admit that the accident was your fault or agree to something that is not in your best interest. An attorney can handle all communication between you, the other driver, and the insurance companies.   

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