Most drivers try to prepare for accidents as best they can, carrying adequate insurance and reminding themselves of what steps need to be taken should an accident occur. But who do you call after a car accident? Here’s a short list:
- Call the Police
When you ask the question “Who do you call after a car accident?” this is the answer you’re probably dreading: Your first call after an accident should always be the police. If someone has been hurt, you should call 911 so that medical services can be sent as well, but if the accident is minor you may be able to get through to police using a non-emergency number instead.
Most car accidents happen within 3 miles of the driver’s home, so it’s a good idea to have the local number stored in your phone; if you’re further from home and don’t know what jurisdiction you’re in, then you should simply call 911. Most states have laws requiring you to call police after an accident if someone is hurt or if a certain amount of damage has been caused (usually measured in dollar amount, such as $500), but it’s a good idea to have a police report filed regardless.
- Call Your Insurance Company
You should call your insurance agent as soon as possible to determine what steps you’ll need to take regarding a claim. You often have a limited amount of time to file your information for a claim, so you’ll want to know exactly what needs to happen and when. Your insurance agent will also be able to remind you of what information you’ll need to get copies of. You should pay attention to the name of the police officer and his or her department so you can easily obtain a copy of the report, in addition to documenting the crash yourself (with a disposable camera or cell phone) and getting the other driver’s insurance information.
- Call a Friend
A car accident is stressful, even if nobody was hurt. If you’re prone to panicking, it may be helpful to have a friendly or a supportive presence at your side. The ideal person to call will be calm, quiet and knowledgeable.
- Call a Lawyer
If someone was injured in the accident, you may want to contact auto accident injury attorneys. But you should also remember that lawyers aren’t only useful when you’re trying to file or counter a personal injury lawsuit. Lawyers who concentrate their practices on car accidents can also help you if your insurance company is trying to avoid paying out on a claim, or can negotiate car accident settlements out of court.
Who do you call after a car accident, if you’ve been in one or more in the past? Share your suggestions or respond to these ones in the comments section.