What you need to do immediately after a motor vehicle accident

Being involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident can be extremely stressful – especially when it seems like it came out of nowhere. While your adrenaline is high, it can be hard to remember what it is you are supposed to do. But if you can remember these key steps, they can help you to stay safe, and they can maximize your chances of winning a favorable outcome in any subsequent lawsuits or settlement negotiations that arise from the accident.

Obtain medical attention

The very first thing you should do after an accident is to make sure that no one has sustained a serious injury. If they have, every second counts. Call emergency services immediately.

Call the police

Next, you should call the police to the scene. Once they arrive, be cooperative and comply with their instructions as they fill out their collision report.

Take pictures

Make sure you capture pictures and videos and evidence of the damage to both vehicles, as well as any injuries. You can use these photos later as evidence in court, or in negotiations with insurance companies.

Exchange information

Take down the insurance information, phone number, address, and name of every driver and passenger involved. Also try to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.

Avoid admitting fault

No matter what you do, do not say anything that the other driver can use against you in court. Even if you are trying to be polite or diffuse a tense situation, it’s never a good idea to apologize after an accident.

Saying things such as “I didn’t see you there,” “I should have braked faster,” or “I thought the light was green” can amount to an admission of fault that can undermine or completely destroy your chances of getting a good settlement or winning a lawsuit. To be safe, you shouldn’t say anything to the other drivers other than making sure they aren’t injured and exchanging information.

Nothing can ruin your day quite like a vehicle crash. But if you follow the proper protocol, you can make it easier for your attorney to get you the compensation that you need to take care of your medical bills, property damage and other damages arising from your accident.