5 Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

When involved in a car accident, your first instinct might be to flee from the scene. But though you may feel tempted to leave and deal with the consequences later, this is not a smart idea. Leaving after hitting another vehicle could make things much worse for you in the long run.

According to, if you hit a car or someone's property, you are legally obliged to stop and provide details to the owner or their insurer. If someone is injured, you're also required by law to stay until they get appropriate medical attention.

In any car accident that is not your fault, it's always best to remain calm and follow a few steps to help you safely and effectively.

1. Try to Stay Calm

First and foremost, stay calm. Panicking and flustering will only worsen the situation and prompt you to make bad decisions. A car accident is an inherently stressful situation, but you can take steps to ensure you stay as clear-headed and collected as possible. Anxiety can cause you to tense up, leading to increased muscle aches and pains after the accident.

Other people involved in the accident might be feeling just as stressed and overwhelmed as you are, so try to stay calm and collected as you wait for the situation to unfold.

2. Call the Police

According to Pratheep Sevanthinathan, top car accident attorney in Detroit, if you're injured in the accident or cause significant damage to another vehicle or property, you must call the police. This is required by law in all states, and failing to do so could result in serious consequences such as fines and even criminal charges. When you call the police, let them know you are following the rules of the law and are staying at the scene of the accident.

Let them know that you plan on cooperating with everyone there and providing them with the details of what happened. While you should cooperate with everyone at the scene, it's important not to say anything that could be used against you. If the police question you, insist on talking with a lawyer before answering any questions.

3. Check for Injury and Damage

You should try to get the other driver's attention if there are any injuries. You should stay with them and call the police if they cannot move from their vehicle. If anyone has been seriously injured in the accident, you need to call an ambulance and wait with the person until medical assistance arrives.

If there are no serious injuries and you can move around the scene, you should check the vehicles for damage and take pictures of the scene and the damage caused to both vehicles and any nearby property. You should check your vehicle and take detailed photos of any damage. If you have health insurance, it is a good idea to get your name and policy number from your insurance card (if you don't already have it memorized) so that you have it on hand in case of an accident.

4. Document everything you can

As you photograph the scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries, you should also keep a detailed record of everything you see and experience. This could include the weather conditions, how the accident happened and any factors that contributed to it, the damage to all vehicles, the names and contact information of those involved, and details of injuries (if any).

You should also record the location of the accident, including the nearest cross streets, the lane you were in, and the nearest landmarks.

5. Consult a Lawyer

If someone is injured in the accident, you could face serious charges if you flee the scene. No matter how upset or nervous you might be, get a police report before leaving the accident. Again, get any contact information for witnesses at the scene if you need it later.

Talk to your lawyer right away so they can help you begin building a defense.

A car accident is very traumatic for all parties involved. You can hopefully minimize any long-term damage and stress by taking the proper actions.

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