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What to Do after a Car Accident

No matter how careful you are while driving, accidents can still happen. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, knowing what to do next can help you stay calm, protect yourself, and avoid making the situation worse. Plus, you can increase your chances of getting fair compensation if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit by taking the proper steps.

Here’s what to do after a car accident.

1. Stop the Vehicle

Minnesota state law requires that drivers involved in an accident always stop their vehicles and exchange information—regardless of who is at fault. If you leave the accident scene too quickly, you could face a charge of hit-and-run.

So rather than speeding off, stop your vehicle, switch the engine off, and turn your hazard lights on immediately.

2. Assess Any Injuries

Before doing anything else, check to see if you are injured. If you have any passengers, check them, too. Be diligent as the shock and adrenaline of the accident could mask the pain of an injury. You or someone else could be hurt without realizing it right away.

If anyone is injured, assess the severity.

3. Move to Safety

If your vehicle has stopped in a safe place, you can leave it there. If not—and if the car is still drivable—drive carefully out of the way of traffic, then shut the car off.

Either way, once the car is in a safe place, exit the vehicle and move to a secure location, such as a sidewalk. Stay away from traffic, but remain at the scene of the accident.

It is also essential to turn on your hazard lights to alert others of potential danger. 

4. Call the Police

You should always call the police after an accident, even if the damage and injuries seem minor. The police should be aware of the accident to ensure everyone’s safety and create an accident report

If anyone was injured, make sure to report these injuries, and request emergency medical attention if necessary.

5. Gather Evidence

If you’re able, collect as much information as you can about the accident and the area where it happened. You’ll want to:

Ask the police for a copy of their report, as well.

6. Don’t Talk about the Accident

The less you say to anyone but the police, the better. No matter what caused the accident—or what you think may have caused it—never say anything to other drivers or witnesses about anyone’s fault, especially your own. You may not know all the details yet. Wait until you’ve had a chance to talk to an attorney before accepting any blame.

Especially do not talk about it on social media.

Sometimes, a single offhand remark can be enough to weaken a potential legal case.

7. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think you’re injured, you should always see a doctor after a car accident. Again, you could be injured without realizing it due to the shock of the accident. Some severe injuries may not show any apparent symptoms until hours, days, or weeks later. Common examples include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Whiplash

When it comes to protecting yourself from long-term injury, it’s always better not to take chances. 

8. Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your auto insurance provider about the accident as quickly as possible, and give them the details you recorded. You should do this even if you don’t think you will make a claim yet.

9. File an Accident Report

Minnesota state law requires drivers to file a Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Report if:

  • The accident resulted in an injury or death; or,
  • The cost of repairing any property damage will amount to more than $1,000

Otherwise, this step is optional.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

If you are injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation—and we can help you get it. At SiebenCarey, we’ve spent decades assisting thousands of injury victims get the financial support they need after an accident.

Just contact us, and we can:

  • Evaluate your case
  • Explain your rights to you
  • Investigate the details of your injury
  • Negotiate with stubborn insurance companies on your behalf
  • Help you pursue all the compensation you deserve

Click here for a free, no-risk case evaluation.

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Jeanne Tondryk

Eric W. Beyer helped me through a very difficult time and his professionalism, advice and results from an injury were highly respected. Amidst the personal part of getting myself back to health, his guidance when life was blurry was so appreciated. He listened and then put forth my options honestly and directly which I totally appreciated!

 Was totally satisfied with his hard work and dedication to help me. I'd highly recommend him. Thank you Eric!

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Deb Colombe

I was involved in a car accident that was complicated at best. God blessed with me Eric Beyer as my attorney. Although it was a long drawn out process between the two insurance companies, Eric was not only my attorney, he was my rock.

Eric is one of the most ethical people I have ever met in my lifetime. He was a constant source of not only information, but of comfort throughout the whole process. I never doubted for one moment that Eric did not have my best interest at heart. He took every word I said seriously and did what he had to do. If I ever have the misfortune of another injury like this, I would go to no one other than Eric Beyer. I will never in my lifetime be able to thank Eric enough or let him know how much I respect him and what a comfort he was and has continued to be for me. God Bless you Eric Beyer.

Chris and Amy Boys

We worked with Art and his team on a personal injury case. We could not have been more pleased with the result. Art and his team were both professional and personable, and were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend Art and his team if you find yourself in this type of situation.

Daunne Schaller

I was seriously injured in a car accident on my wedding night and went to SiebenCarey. Being involved in an accident is never fun. The folks at SiebenCarey got us thru the event helping us get on with our lives. They were up front and honest. We knew we could trust them. It’s clear to me why Art has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America and Super Lawyer for 12 years running. Now anytime I know someone who was involved in an accident I refer them to SiebenCarey.

Heidi Johnson

Jeff Montpetit and his team are always there when I needed to ask any questions .They are all working very hard on my claim from my car accident. Thank you all very much..

Jeff Adams

Art and his team have always demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and dedication. As an attorney, I appreciate this quality in a fellow colleague. I am pleased to post this review on behalf of Art.

Casidy Van Puymbrouck

Car accidents are scary, especially when your injury does not go away. I was lost and in need of help. Mr. Beyer took me in and got to the bottom of the problem. When it was all said and done the accident did not cost me anything and I recieved something for the pain and suffering!

Maggie Healy

Having known Jim my entire life as a good family friend, I’ve always admired his ability to make others feel welcomed and excepted in any setting. This is why I didn’t hesitate to chose Jim and SiebenCarey when I needed a personal injury lawyer. He proved to be extremely thorough and professional and he made sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process. I’m only 18 years old so much of the legal process was new to me but Jim was very patient and I felt that he was there with me every step of the way. It’s clear that Jim truly cares about his clients and after my experience with Jim and the whole firm I now understand why SiebenCarey is so widely respected.

Christine Zweber

I have known Mark Olive for many years!  Mark has navigated me through several work related injuries in the world of Workman's Comp(WC) issues since 1987. 

Mark and his team (especially Sharon Hanson) are so amazing...knowledgeable, innovative, persistent, honest, hard-working, informative, great communication skills, organized, kind, caring, accessible, trust-worthy, sensitive to employee's concerns, great listeners, advocates, able to lead workers who are struggling to make sense of a VERY complicated system (WC), and so extremely professional in every way!!  Mark is able to explain even the most mind-boggling legal jargon, information, details, and the 'plan' to an employee in a way that is simply honest and sensible. 

Mark and his team truly work to improve the lives of workers who have been injured on-the-job with integrity, thoroughness, legal thoughtfulness, and perseverance.
  
I will continue to recommend Mark and his team to educational professionals who have been injured on-the-job as well as to friends in other professions.  Lastly, I have been fortunate to experience who I believe is the best Attorney in the Twin Cities area!!

Thank you for everything Mark & team!  Chris Zweber

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