What Should You Do After a Crash?

After a car accident happens, knowing what to do next can be crucial to protecting your rights and wellbeing. At Bell & Pollock, P.C., we understand how devastating auto accidents can be – not only physically but also psychologically and financially. Which are only some of the reasons adequate representation after a traffic accident is so important and why our Denver car accident lawyers are dedicated to being champions of the people, helping them obtain the justice and recoveries they deserve.

If You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident…

  1. Try to remain calm and get to a safe place ASAP – Traffic accidents can be scary and upsetting. Following a collision, however, it’s important to try to stay calm so you can think clearly, take care of yourself and carry out as many of the following steps as possible.And the first step to take after the crash (if you’re conscious and able to) is to move out of the way of traffic as soon as possible. If your vehicle is still operational and is blocking traffic (and moving it won’t cause further damage), then it’s also advisable to move it out of the way of oncoming traffic (to limit the risk of another crash).
  2. Call the police to report the crash – Once you are out of harm’s way, call the police immediately to report the crash. While calling 911 will be necessary for more serious auto wrecks (like those that involve visible injuries), calling a non-emergency police number is typically preferable for milder crashes (like non-injury fender benders). When it comes to reporting a car accident to police, it’s important to understand that:
    • Police will develop an official report for the crash, detailing specifics like where/when the accident occurred and who’s likely at fault for the crash.
    • Failing to report a car accident not only violates Colorado State law,1 but it can also cause problems later when it’s time to file a car accident claim (as insurers may use failures to report a crash as grounds to reduce or even deny a car crash claim).
  3. Seek medical attention – Get checked out by an emergency responder, or see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident (if EMTs aren’t called to the scene). Some of the main reasons why seeking medical attention ASAP after a car accident is so important include that it can:
    • Ensure your injuries are diagnosed and treated in a timely manner – You may not feel hurt after a crash happens because of shock (or because the symptoms of the injuries may take some time to develop). By seeing a medical professional ASAP, however, your injuries can be identified and treated before they may progress to a worse state.
    • Document the extent of the physical damage you suffered in the crash – Just as police will write up an official report for the accident, a doctor will develop more formal records regarding the severity and nature of your injuries. These medical records can be integral later to proving the damage you suffered and, consequently, the compensation to which you may be entitled for your injuries (and other losses).
  4. Exchange information with other involved parties – As you wait at the scene of an accident for police to arrive and wrap up their investigation, take this time to get some important information from the other parties that were involved in the crash. These parties can include other motorists and/or witnesses, and the info to gather from them includes the following:
    • Basic personal information – This should include the names and contact information for the other involved parties.
    • Motorist-related information – For other involved motorists, this info should include the driver’s license info (i.e., driver’s license number and state where the license was issued); the vehicle-related info (i.e., the make/model/year of the vehicle, as well as the license plate number); and the insurance-related info (i.e., the provider and policy number).
    • Other information – For witnesses, you may want to briefly jot down their accounts (to note whether the witness has an account that supports