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What to do if You're in a Car Accident

car accident

You have just had a car crash, and in these moments you may feel disoriented and not know what to do. You are not alone and share this feeling with many others. On average, over six million automobile accidents occur in the US every year. To help you in the unfortunate event, we have compiled a quick guide on what you should do in the moments after an automobile collision.

Check for Injuries First

Tempers can flair in accidents that involve more than one vehicle, but in the moments after an accident, you need to put blame aside and make sure that nobody is hurt. Begin with the people in your own vehicle. Is anybody hurt? What is the extent of their injuries? Are they able to get out of the vehicle? After you have all this information, check on any other vehicles and call 911 immediately if any medical attention is needed by any party.

Make the Crash Site as Safe as Possible

If no medical attention is needed by anyone involved in the crash, take control of the crash site to make sure that no one is in danger from approaching traffic. If the vehicles are still mobile, move them to the side of the road or somewhere else where they will not be blocking traffic. If the vehicles are disabled, entangled, or a dangerous condition may be caused by driving them, move everyone to a safe place like a sidewalk to await emergency services. If vehicles cannot be moved, take any safety precautions you can to include turning on four-way flashers on the vehicles or placing warning triangles/flares on the road to inform approaching vehicles that there is a crash site. Do not leave the scene of the crash, especially if other parties to the crash have a disabled vehicle. 

Notify the Proper Authorities

In virtually all circumstances it is in your best interest to file a police report and have a member of law enforcement investigate the scene of the crash before you leave the crash site. California law also requires that you submit a written report to the DMV if property damage is more than $1,000, if anyone was injured, or if anyone was killed. So, you will need to write down any details you may have a problem remembering later. If circumstances do not allow for this, file a report with the local police station as soon as possible as this can have an impact on liability claims or even legal ramifications for yourself and other drivers involved.

If the accident seems staged, report this to the police officers that respond to the incident so that they can investigate the claim. Learn more about Staged Collisions here.

Gather and Exchange Information

In order to resolve this accident with legal authorities an insurance companies, you will need a great deal of information and will be required to furnish your identity and insurance information to any other parties involved. Before you leave, document the following:

  • Names of all parties to the accident
  • Contact information such as phone or email address
  • Make, model, and year of cars involved
  • Insurance coverage or lack thereof
  • License plate numbers and, if possible, driver’s license numbers
  • Photos of damage sustained and the location of vehicles

Download a copy of our accident form to print and keep in your glove compartment.

Performing these actions in the moments after your car crash will go a long way toward facilitating your insurance claim, insulate you from legal liability, and helping you move on with your life.

If you have been involved in an accident, the problems it may have caused your vehicle isn't always limited to your car’s bodywork. Hillside Auto Repair of Torrance, CA can take a look under the hood to check for underlying issues the accident may have affected your car's performance. Contact us today for any of your auto service needs.

Call 310-373-7676 or go online to schedule an appointment:

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