After any car accident, it’s important to know what to do next. The aftermath of a crash can be stressful and confusing, especially if you are dealing with the stress and physical trauma of the accident itself. There are steps you need to take quickly after an accident that may seem small at the time but can have a big impact later on. These details may not seem very important immediately after a crash, but failing to take care of these things after an accident could lead to much bigger problems down the road. Below is a brief guide for handling a car accident in Alabama so that you can be ready for anything that comes your way afterward.
Exchange Info and Contact Information
Most car accidents are minor, but it’s always important to exchange information in case someone else ends up getting hurt. Make sure to exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses who may have seen what happened.
If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, exchange information with the company, including the name of the driver, the company, the address, and the phone number. If the accident was caused by another driver who was on the road, you may want to call the police.
Not all car accidents need to be reported, but you may want to call the police if there was significant damage, if one or more people were injured, or if you have reason to believe the other driver was at fault and may try to leave the scene.
Check for Injuries and Repair Your Car
Before you do anything else after a car accident, you need to make sure that you and any passengers in your car are okay. If you or someone else in your car is injured, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible. Likewise, if you see any physical damage to your car, you should get it inspected and repaired—and quickly. If a police officer comes to the scene, you should ask them to write a report, but you should also file a report of your own.
If you’ve been in a wreck, you want to get your car looked at as soon as possible to make sure that it’s safe to drive again. In some cases, an insurance company may ask that you immediately take your car to a repair shop to be inspected, especially if the car is heavily damaged.
If you have car insurance, your insurer can help you get your car repaired. If you don’t have car insurance, you’ll have to come up with the money to get your car fixed yourself (though you may be able to get an inexpensive loan if you don’t have the cash on hand).
Write down What Happened.
After an accident, you should write down everything you can remember, including details about the other driver, the weather, and any other information you think might be helpful in the future. Write down what happened leading up to the accident, including the other person’s name, registration information, and license plate number (if it’s a vehicle).
If a police officer comes to the scene, he or she will ask you for information about what happened, so you should have your notes ready to go. If the other driver causes damage or injury to you or your car, you may want to talk with an attorney about your options for seeking compensation. You may also want to consider filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Get a Police Report
If you’ve been in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be able to get the accident removed from your record by petitioning the police department that investigated the incident. In Alabama, you can file an accident report petition at the Department of Public Safety, and the DPS will contact the appropriate police department to initiate the process.
There is a fee associated with this service, and your driving record will be marked with an “accident” for three years. But if the accident caused you to get bad marks on your driving record, this could be well worth it.
Check on Any Passengers You Might Have Harm
If you were driving and someone else was in your car, you need to make sure that they are okay. If anyone in your car was injured in the accident, you need to get them medical attention as soon as possible. If they are minors, designate a responsible adult to take them to the doctor.
If someone in your car was severely injured, you may want to talk with an attorney about your options for seeking compensation. You may also want to consider filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company for reimbursement for medical costs and other damages. You may also want to consider getting a lawyer to help you with the process.
Take pictures of the Road and Your Car
If the accident was severe enough that you believe you may want to file a claim against the other driver, you may want to take pictures of the scene. You can take pictures of the scene with your phone, or you can ask a witness to start taking pictures for you.
You may also want to take pictures of any visible damage to your car, though you should keep in mind that not all car accidents leave behind visible evidence. If the accident was caused by another driver, you may want to take pictures of the other driver’s car and the accident scene. This can be helpful if you need to prove that the other driver was at fault when filing a claim with his or her insurance company.
After a car accident, it’s important to know what steps to take next. The aftermath of an accident can be stressful and confusing, especially if you are dealing with the stress and physical trauma of the accident itself. There are steps you need to take quickly after an accident that may seem small at the time but can have a big impact later on.
These details may not seem very important immediately after a crash, but failing to take care of these things after an accident could lead to much bigger problems down the road. Taking these steps will help you make sure the car accident is handled properly and that you are protected if you need to file a claim with your insurance company.