Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Once a car accident occurs, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to ensure your claim is properly handled. After a car accident happens, it can be hard to think straight. It is imperative that you know what you need to do in the event of an accident. Having a basic checklist will help ensure you are taken care of. The best thing you can do is have the checklist inside of your car, so that way you are always taken care of while out on the road.

Determine How Extensive the Damage or Injuries Are

Even though it may be quite difficult, try to stay as calm as you possibly can after the accident. If you end up panicking, it will tend to make others panic and worsen the severity of the situation. Someone needs to remain calm to help assess the situation and determine how bad things are at the scene. If there are any injuries requiring medical attention, it is imperative that those things be noted to help get the proper help on the way.

File the Proper Reports with the Police Department

Regardless of how minor or severe the car accident is, you will want to ensure you receive a legal accident report. Make sure that you remain at the scene of the accident until you have received a full report.

Only Discuss the Accident with the Local Police Department

Since a number of people are often shook up after an accident, often it will be hard to avoid talking about what happened with the other party. It can also lead to unclear thinking and inaccuracies about what recently happened on the scene. Minimize your discussion of the incident and avoid admitting any liability or fault for the accident. You will only want to talk about the car accident with the insurance company and the police department.

Get All of the Facts

Even though most people know to do this part, they end up missing one piece of information or another. Some people end up so frazzled that this part completely slips their mind. It is imperative that you get names, phone numbers and addresses of anyone who is involved in the accident. Descriptions of the vehicles and license plate numbers are also a great deal of help for the police report and your insurance companies. Beyond the vehicle description, you will also want to document the name of the insurance companies and VIN numbers of the car. Don’t assume having the license plate number is enough because many insurance providers will only record the make, model and VIN of the car, which means the license plate number will be worthless. It is always best to cover your basis.

Depending on the type and severity of the accident, you may end up needing to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney. If you suffered a great deal of injuries, it is imperative that you receive the care, treatment and compensation you deserve. Contacting an attorney will help you get everything taken care of after an accident. Don’t assume you have no rights after an accident. Let the attorney go to work for you determining what you are entitled to after your car accident.

This article was contributed by the folks at G&S, a personal injury lawyer firm, to promote and encourage safe driving practices.