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What are the key things to remember after a wreck?

A motor vehicle accident is always a shock to your system. They're scary -- and they happen very fast. In the aftermath, it's hard to get your bearings and keep your mind on what's important.

Here are some tips. These are the top things you need to remember after a wreck:

  1. Take care of medical needs first. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance if anybody is injured -- including yourself.
  2. Don't make unnecessary conversation with the other driver. When the police arrive on the scene, they can facilitate the exchange of information between you.
  3. Make sure that you obtain all the relevant information. The police officer's report should contain the other driver's name, contact information and insurance policy details. You will need that to pursue a claim later, so hang onto it.
  4. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. People often stop to assist when they witness an accident. They may be able to provide details about the wreck that could surprise you.
  5. If possible, get photos of the scene. The weather, the road signs and the traffic conditions may reveal important things about the wreck. They can also help with accident reconstruction efforts later.
  6. Don't talk to an insurance company adjustor on record. Insurance companies love to talk to people in the immediate aftermath of an accident when they're still confused and may not even be aware of how seriously they're injured. They hope to get you on record saying that everything is fine -- so don't fall for it.

Once you've recovered from your initial shock, take the time to find out how you can obtain compensation for your accident-related losses after a car wreck. You do have options.

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