You should always report car accidents to the police. Even if you think it was a minor collision, an official police report will be beneficial for any insurance claim or litigation that may follow. Police will document the scene, take photos and interview witnesses.
If you, the other driver or any passengers have injuries, call 911 immediately. After taking care of those necessary first steps, keep these three additional steps in mind if you ever have an accident.
1. Exchange information
When possible, exchange insurance and contact information with all other drivers involved in the collision. If you are unable or unwilling to speak to the other driver due to injury, the police report will likely include this information. Limit your interactions with other drivers to exchanging information and asking if they need medical assistance, but do not admit fault or assign blame.
2. Take photos
An official police report will typically include photos, but if you have a camera available, take your own photos of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries. The more documentation available, the stronger your case will be for any insurance claim or litigation.
3. Seek medical treatment
Always seek medical treatment for injuries sustained in an accident. If you do not seek emergency treatment immediately after the collision due to a lack of obvious injury, pay attention to your body in the days following the crash. If you experience persistent headaches or other new pains, you could have head trauma or other internal injuries. See a medical professional as soon as you notice something wrong and follow through on the treatment plan.
The steps you take after an accident can significantly impact your physical and financial well-being. You may need to take swift action if you want to pursue compensation for damages.