The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

What Do I Do After a Car Accident? Check the Checklist

Car accidents look so sweet on television. Squeal, crunch, flip, engine fire, good times. It's not like that in real life however. Some idiot blasts through a stop sign, T-bones your freshly cleaned cherry red classic car, and the airbag pops you in the forehead.

Try remembering proper post-crash procedure after that. You'll probably be thinking of the wasted car wash.

Fortunately, you don't have to. FindLaw's newest guide is so simple and obvious that it is absolutely freaking brilliant. We've given you lots of information about what to do after a car accident, but you can't exactly Google our blog on the side of the highway. The folk upstairs have distilled that information into a handy pamphlet-checklist.

Airbag

Most people know that after a car accident, it's important to get the other driver's insurance information. That's only the start, however.

Check for injuries, document everything, and take pictures with your cell phone (assuming you've upgraded phones since 1995). If you think the accident caused more than a few hundred dollars worth of damage, call the police for an accident report. Follow up with your physician of you feel any pain the next few days. Contact your insurance company.

Most of all - ADMIT NOTHING! Even if you side-swiped a parked car while teleconferencing and eating a burrito, do not admit anything. Leave the fight over fault for the insurance companies and lawyers.

One of the great ironies of the human condition is that the brain works least when we need it most. You've just been in a car accident and "fight or flight" has taken over. Your brain has retreated and is commanding you to punch the other driver in the face. You are too furious and freaked out to remember all of this information.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor. Download the FindLaw Auto Accident Checklist. Print off a copy for each of your cars. Print off a copy for your kid's car. Hide one in your mother's glove compartment. It is, after all, completely free. It's also full of pretty good advice.

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