Imagine driving down I-35 on Friday afternoon. You just got off work and the only thing you had on the schedule for the weekend were a couple of days of rest and relaxation at Lake Georgetown. Unfortunately, when traffic suddenly came to a stop in front of you, your plans went up in smoke. While you stopped in plenty of time to avoid hitting the car in front of you, the car behind you did not. Now that you have just been in a wreck that was not your fault, what do you do?

Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere and at any time while we are behind the wheel. Usually, it seems like they always happen at the most inconvenient times. The best thing you can do is to be prepared. Knowing what to do after an accident can help you get the best possible results when it comes time to file your claim. Her are some steps you should take after an accident that was not your fault.

Immediately after the collision

Right after an accident, the first thing you should do is assess your injuries. If they are serious, do not move and wait for help. However, if you can move, check on the other people involved while you wait for emergency responders to get to the scene.

If you are able to do so, exchange information with the other driver. This includes names, phone numbers and insurance information. Try to take pictures of the accident scene and all vehicles involved. If possible, get statements and contact information from anyone that witnessed the accident. Also, be sure to file a police report about the accident.

Once you get home

After you are able to return home, be sure to seek medical treatment if you have not already done so. Even if you do not feel like you suffered anything more than a few bumps and bruises, let your doctor check you over. You could have sustained serious injuries that are not immediately obvious.

As soon as possible, write down everything you can remember about the accident. Once you have the details down, call your insurance company and report the accident. Take notes during the call. Write down everything you talk about with your agent and be sure to get his or her name for future reference.

Even if the accident was not your fault and you expect the other driver’s insurer to compensate you for the damages, you should report the incident to your insurance agent.

Filing your claim

Your attorney will be able to help you file a claim for damages against the other driver. You may end up negotiating with the insurance company on a settlement or you may end up filing a lawsuit in court. This will depend heavily on the circumstances of your case. It is important to remember that if you have suffered an injury due to an accident with a negligent driver, you have rights and options.