What to do After a Car Accident
The moments following a car crash can be very stressful, making it hard to remember all the proper steps to ensure you can handle next steps effectively. It is just as important to remember to follow-up on residual things from an accident, like your health or impact to your car insurance.
Here are the steps to take after a car accident:
If you are able, move to a safe area
If you are not seriously injured and the car is not severely damaged, move to a shoulder or parking lot to avoid creating traffic jams or further involving vehicles in the crash. If moving your car isn’t an option, turn on your hazards and stay put; other drivers will go around until help has arrived. Once you are settled, put the car in park and get out to assess the situation. If you have flares or similar road safety items, consider using them.
Check on others involved in the car accident
This is not only drivers, but also any passengers or pedestrians. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness or neck pain should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
Determine if police are needed
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. However, if there are no injuries, the police either will not be able to respond, or the drivers may elect to handle the scene on their own. If police are not called, do not give the other party involved your driver’s license, they do not need to know where you live. If you do have a police presence, cooperate fully but do not accept fault or assign blame. The police will objectively review the events and determine next steps.
Gather the info of the other drivers involved
Northern Nevada Chiropractic has created an Accident Incident Card that walks you through all the necessary information you need to gather before leaving the scene, such as:
- Other driver’s information
- Witness information
Download your Card here. Print it out and put it in your glove box with your insurance and vehicle registration information.
Document the scene of the car accident
Take photos of the accident scene. Try and include things like damage, the position of the cars, and location of the accident. They’ll come in handy during the insurance claim process.
Many care insurances offer mobile apps that allow you to take pictures and upload them directly to your claim.
File your insurance claim and report the accident
Call the number on your insurance card or get in touch with your agent following the crash. They will help you file a claim and get you on your way.
If police were not a part of your accident scene, then you need to report the accident to the Nevada DMV. Here is a link that walks you through the process: https://www.dmv.com/nv/nevada/auto-accidents. But don’t put this off. You have 10 days from the time of the accident to report it to the DMV.
Get checked by your chiropractor
If there were injuries at the scene, chances are this step will be immediate. However, small fender benders and even minor accidents are the largest culprits of neck and back trauma. If not tended to early, over time, these injuries can lead to larger and more long term injuries.
At Northern Nevada Chiropractic, we specialize in treating car accident injuries and helping prevent any further deterioration or damage as a result of the trauma. After a car accident, schedule an appointment for a proactive assessment of your neck and spine.