You’ve been in an accident. You sit there for a minute and quietly panic. Are you injured? Should you get out of the car? Was it your fault? What should you do?

Those very first moments after a car accident can be overwhelming. They can also be critical to your Iowa injury case. Print out this list and store it in your glove compartment. If you are ever involved in a Cedar Rapids car crash, this list can help you focus on what you need to do.

Here are 14 things to do after a Cedar Rapids car accident:

  1. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a few moments to calm down.
  2. Stay safe. If possible, move your car off the road and to a safe location. If it is not possible, turn on your blinkers and the cabin lights.
  3. Check for injuries. Are you injured? Make sure everyone in your car is okay. If there are any injuries, call 911 immediately.
  4. Check on the other driver. Are you able to move? If you can get out of the car and it is safe, check if anyone in the other car is injured.
  5. Call 911. If you haven’t done so, call 911 to report the accident. Ask the officer who comes to the scene how you can get a copy of the police report.
  6. Exchange information. Give the other driver your name, VIN number, telephone number, and insurance company. That’s all he should need. Don’t apologize or make excuses. An apology may be seen as admission of liability.
  7. Obtain witness information. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene.
  8. Take pictures. If you are able to, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles, and damage to the vehicles and your injuries. If your injuries prevent you from taking pictures, ask a witness to help.
  9. See a doctor. If you are offered an ambulance ride, take it. You can have a serious brain injury even if you feel fine and didn’t hit your head. Otherwise, go to the emergency room or schedule a same-day appointment with your personal physician. It’s a good idea to get checked out even if you’re not sure that there are injuries.
  10. Document the accident. Write down everything that you remember about the accident: what you were doing before the crash, what you remember about the crash, the nature of your injuries, and the pain that you feel. Keep notes about your treatment and recovery.
  11. Report the accident to your own insurance company. Let the insurance company know that there was an accident and that you were injured. Don’t explain how the accident happened or identify who you think was at fault.
  12. Be careful when dealing with the insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company is most interested in minimizing your insurance claim. They would like you to admit even partial fault, so they can reduce the amount they must pay. Don’t answer questions. Refer the insurance agent to your Cedar Rapids car accident lawyer.
  13. Learn about your rights. Request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims.
  14. Talk to a lawyer. If you are offered a settlement after your Iowa car crash, be careful. The first settlement offer is usually intentionally low. If you accept the offer, you lose your right to further compensation. How can you find out if a settlement offer is fair? Contact a Cedar Rapids accident attorney.

Contact the Cedar Rapids injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. Ask to schedule a free consultation. When you come in, bring the settlement offer. Our attorneys will evaluate the accident and let you know if it is fair.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.