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Looking back at a black Ford taxi cab that has recently been involved in a wreck.

What to Do After You've Been in a Wreck

Posted at Mon, Dec 20, 2021 4:15 PM

Being involved in a car crash can be shocking and even scary, leaving you unsure what to do next. Whether you've been involved in a relatively minor fender bender or a more serious collision, your first priority should be checking that everyone is OK. But there are several additional steps you can take to help ensure this unfortunate situation has a positive outcome. Here's a checklist for you to follow.

Check That Nobody Is Injured

Looking back at a black Ford taxi cab that has recently been involved in a wreck.

Image by michaeljinphoto is free to use under the Unsplash License

The first thing you should do is make sure you haven't suffered any injuries. If you think you've been hurt, stay still until help arrives. If you're unhurt and can move, check to see if any other passengers in your vehicle and in the other car involved in the accident are injured. If anybody has been hurt, call 911 immediately.

Move to Safety

You may still be able to drive your vehicle if the accident wasn't too serious. In that case, you should try to move it to the side of the road for safety. Turn on your hazard lights and use the flares in your emergency kit to alert oncoming traffic to the accident. If you can't move your car, try to get to the side of the road or onto the sidewalk. Be extra careful if you leave your vehicle. You may not be thinking straight due to the shock of the accident, which could cause you to miss obvious dangers, like oncoming traffic.

Report the Accident to the Police

Even if you and your passengers have been lucky enough to survive the crash unscathed, you still need to report it to the police. You can do so by calling 911. When the police officers arrive at the scene, take down their badge numbers and names, and ask if you can have a copy of the accident report to show to your insurer. In some areas, officers may not visit the crash site, especially if the accident was minor. You can still request the accident report from the local police.

Document the Crash Scene

Using your phone to document the crash can make things a lot easier when you file your insurance claim. You can take photos of your vehicle and the car belonging to the other driver involved to document damage. It's also important to take note of where the cars involved in the accident were sitting in relation to the road. This information can prove vital for an insurer who is trying to determine who was at fault for the accident. You can document this information by recording a voice memo on your phone or taking a video.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

Getting the correct information from the other driver involved in the accident is a key step in filing your insurance claim. You should obtain the insured person's name, policy number, and insurance company details. In addition, take down their address and contact details so you can give them to your insurer.

It's also worth taking the details of any passengers who were in the car of the other driver. If anyone witnessed the accident and is willing to provide you with their personal details, take a note of them too. Witnesses can prove crucial for subsequent investigations by the police or auto insurance companies.

While you exchange information, try to avoid getting into a dispute about who was to blame for the accident. Arguments of this nature can quickly escalate, putting you in a dangerous position. They also won't resolve anything, since the accident has already occurred.

Be wary of agreeing to a cash settlement with the other driver if the damage appears minor. Auto repairs can end up costing much more when the vehicle is thoroughly examined by a trained technician. An investigation by Consumer Reports found that several crashes that took place with vehicles traveling at just 10 mph produced damage that looked minor. However, repair bills ranged from $3,000 to $6,000.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

If possible, contact your insurer while you're at the crash site. A key benefit of doing this is that your insurer can let you know what information they'll require to process your claim. If you're still at the crash site, you can take photos of specific parts of the vehicle or obtain information from the other driver that you may have overlooked.

Some auto insurers offer a phone app for filing a claim. This option can provide a useful alternative to making a phone call at the site of the accident.

Arrange for Your Vehicle to Be Towed

If you were involved in a serious accident, you'll probably need to contact a towing company to remove your vehicle from the scene and take it to a collision center. Your car may be movable if you were only in a fender bender. Even if this is the case, you should visit a reliable service center to have your vehicle thoroughly checked over. Our auto technicians at Planet Ford Dallas have extensive experience in identifying damage caused by and carrying out repairs resulting from car accidents.

Visit the Doctor

You should always make an appointment with your doctor following a car crash. Even if you feel fine, some injuries only become noticeable after a period of time. The rush of adrenalin and feeling of shock can also cause you to overlook a potential injury. Medical costs for injuries endured in an auto accident are generally covered as part of an auto insurance claim, so you may be able to claim for treatment that you require.

Learn More About Auto Safety at Planet Ford Dallas

We hope that if you've recently been involved in a car accident, you and your passengers are safe and well. If you need a dependable auto repair service to take care of any damage, we're here to help. Our certified auto technicians can take care of anything from minor damage to extensive bodywork. They're also happy to provide you with quotes in case you need to show them to your auto insurer as part of a claim.

To learn more, don't hesitate to contact us today at our dealership in Dallas.

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