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What to do when you’re in a car accident

You’ve just been in a car accident. You’re in pain. You’re rattled, frustrated, and probably a little angry. What do you do?

Thousands of people get in car accidents in Kentucky every year and find themselves in the same situation. Here’s a quick to-do list for when you find  yourself injured in a wreck:

1. Call 911. If you’re hurt, the most important thing for you to do is get medical attention ASAP, and that’s the whole reason Emergency Medical Services exist. They’ll arrive on the scene of your injury accident as soon as possible to help.

The second benefit of a 911 call is usually it’s accompanied by a visit from the local police department. The responding police officer will usually check to see if anyone on the scene needs medical attention first. Next, he or she will take statements from the people involved in the wreck and any witnesses that might have seen what happened. All of those summary details go into a police report. That’s a public record of the accident, and anyone can get a copy of it. The responding police officer should give you a card with the report number on it at the scene of the accident. If they don’t, be sure to ask for one.

2. Tell the police officer every detail you can remember about the crash. The more information the officer has, the more accurate their report will be.

3. If you can, use your smartphone and take as many pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash as you can. Photos of the surrounding roadway and any traffic control devices like stop lights, stop signs, and road markings like lines or other markings are also helpful.

4. Get the other driver’s name, phone number, address, and insurance information. In Kentucky, every motor vehicle operating on public roads is required to have motor vehicle insurance. You’ll want to either take a photo of the other driver’s insurance card, or at the very least get the name of their insurance company and the policy number.

5. Call your insurance company. Their claims phone number is located on your proof of insurance that you are required to have with you in your vehicle. Tell them you’ve been injured in a car crash, your policy number, , and where the crash occurred, and other general details about the accident as best you can. Your insurer will set up a few different claims as a result, and it’s important you keep track of the claims number(s). If you need to seek out medical treatment after the crash, you will need to provide the hospital, doctor, or other medical professional that claim number so they can send the bill to the appropriate place rather than directly to you.

6. Call a lawyer. Of these six steps, calling a lawyer is the last one you need to worry about. Your health, safety and wellbeing have to come first. Handling the inevitable headaches, literal and figurative, that come after a car crash is what our attorneys do for a living so you don’t have to. When you’ve shaken off the cobwebs and gotten your feet back under you, give us a call at 502-633-6002. Our experienced attorneys know the playbook for how to handle your claims from there. Your first consultation is free.