What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may feel panicked, disoriented or unable to focus. Unfortunately, it’s also a time that requires a lot from you—quick instincts, a cool head and the ability to gather evidence. While the circumstances of every crash are different, it does help to maintain a mental checklist of what you should do if you’re ever involved in a Macon car accident.
Stay on the scene and call 911
After any type of crash, you must stay on the scene until the authorities have arrived and you’ve exchanged information with the other drivers involved.
Request medical attention if you need it
While it’s important to collect witness contact information and photograph the scene (more on that later), your priority should always be your safety and the safety of others. If you’re injured, request medical help when you call 911. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, it’s worth getting a medical examination and treatment anyway.
Wait for help in a safe spot
If your car runs and you’re blocking traffic, attempt to navigate to the shoulder or side of the road if it’s safe to do so. Once you’re there, turn off the ignition, put on your hazards and engage your parking brake. If you have a safety kit in your vehicle, set out flares or signals. Wait at a safe distance from your car and the road.
Discuss the crash with police—not the other driver
Crash sites can quickly become heated when drivers attempt to cast blame or argue about what happened. Don’t admit blame, but also don’t accuse the other driver of causing the accident (even if that’s what happened). When the police arrive, allow them to conduct their investigation without interfering, share your version of what happened, ensure they complete an accident report and request their names and badge numbers so you’re able to follow up with any questions or concerns.
Document the accident scene
Without disrupting the police investigation or risking your safety, you’ll want to gather as much important information at the scene as possible. Most critically, you’ll want to exchange information with the other drivers involved, noting:
- Phone number
- License number
- Tag number
- Insurance policy information
Consider your privacy and the risk of identity theft when allowing other drivers to photograph your driver’s license. You may want to have a form on hand with your personal information already included that they can check against your photo ID rather than photographing the ID itself.
You’ll also want to gather the names and contact information of any witnesses. Photograph your car’s damage, the damage to other vehicles and the accident scene (including any contributing factors like a traffic light that’s out or an icy patch). You may want to draw a diagram of what happened while everything is fresh in your memory.
Begin planning for what’s next
If your car can’t be driven away, the police may arrange for it to be towed. This might be your only option if you’re injured and already en route to medical treatment. However, you are free to call your own tow service. You can also ask the driver to take your vehicle to your mechanic rather than the salvage yard, possibly saving you storage fees and a second tow to a shop. Either way, be sure the truck that arrives on the scene is the one you or the police requested—scams do happen.
You’ll also want to notify your insurer, and you can expect the other parties’ insurance adjusters to reach out to you. If you’ve been injured, limit what you share with the other insurance company. You’ll first want to speak with a Macon personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Attorney in Macon, Ga.
If you have been injured in a car crash, you need a Macon personal injury lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.