First, call the police. That may seem obvious, but many times people will assess the damage themselves and if it is minimal, just exchange personal information with the other driver, believing they can resolve it on their own without getting the police or insurance companies involved. This is always a bad idea. First, there’s no official documentation that the accident ever occurred, hurting your chances of recovering any money should you choose to later file a claim. Second, without proof, the chances of you ever hearing from the other driver are slim, and you will be left holding the bag for any necessary repairs to your vehicle. It is always best to obtain an official accident report from the responding police officer, as well as the other driver’s personal and insurance information.
The second thing we always recommend doing after an accident is to take photos. Photographs are a great way to document the damage to a vehicle. They are also a good way to “revisit” an accident scene at a later date. Photos are also a great tool to use in settlement negotiations or use at trial.
The third thing we always recommend following an accident is to get a medical exam. Many times you will feel fine immediately following the accident, only to wake up the next day very sore, bruised, or unable to turn your head. It’s common after an accident to experience little or no pain because your adrenaline is pumping. Lack of pain at the moment does not necessarily mean that you did not sustain an injury. Waiting a day or two days following an accident to get treatment can greatly diminish the value of your claim. This two-day window gives the insurance company an opportunity to try and argue that your pain is a result of something else that happened during those days, rather than as a result of the accident. This is why it’s important to get checked out immediately.
Lastly, notify your insurer as well as the at-fault insurance company, and then call us!