Immediate Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Portland

There are close to 43,000 fatal car crashes every single year in the U.S., which just goes to show how dangerous the roads can be. Fortunately, the majority of accidents aren’t fatal, but they can still leave victims with serious injuries and long-lasting effects on not only their health but their entire lives.

Even if you’re a safe and prudent driver, you, too, could fall victim to an accident, and it’s important to know what to do after a car accident, so you know how to react if a crash occurs. In this guide, we’ll list the key steps to take after a car accident, covering all you need to know to stay safe and seek both justice and compensation.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Portland, Oregon

Knowing what to do after a car accident is particularly important in and around big cities, like Portland, Oregon, where crashes and collisions are likeliest to occur. Let’s discover the steps to take after a car accident.

Ensure Your Safety and the Safety of Others

After a car crash, health and safety should always be the top priorities. There’ll be time later on to think about making claims or contacting car accident attorneys. In the immediate aftermath, just focus on your health and the well-being of any other people involved in the car accident.

Do Not Leave the Scene

You should not leave the scene of the accident. Instead, remain in place until the authorities (a police officer) or help (an ambulance) arrive. Fleeing or leaving the scene could harm any claims process you try to pursue later on, and may even implicate you as the guilty party in the accident.

Check for Injuries

There are many possible injuries a person can incur in an auto accident. Cuts, broken bones, fractures, concussions, whiplash, and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) are just some examples. Check over yourself and anyone else involved in the accident to look for wounds or signs of injury that will need treatment and attention.

what to do after a car accident

Contact Emergency Services

Once the dust has settled after an accident and you’re able to do so, it’s important to call the emergency services and get expert help dispatched to the accident site. Depending on the extent of the crash, police officers, paramedics, and potentially even firefighters may be needed at the scene.

Call 911

Call 911 if you’re able to do so, or ask someone at the scene to do it for you. Report the location of the crash and provide brief details about the situation. Let the operator know which emergency services you require, and then wait for help to arrive.

Seek Medical Attention

As stated earlier, health is always the top priority after an accident. Make sure you seek medical care. Even if you don’t seem to have any visible or obvious injuries, you may have underlying issues that can’t be seen from the surface, and it’s always wise to have a doctor look you over and run some tests to check for issues like concussion or internal injury.

Get a Police Report

Once the police arrive on the scene, they should start documenting and detailing what happened, taking witness statements, and so on. You can request a copy of the police report, which can be invaluable later on when you come to file a claim or work with Portland personal injury attorneys.

Record the Details of the Accident Scene

Lawyers will also greatly appreciate any evidence you can provide to support your case when it comes time to contact them and seek compensation. So, before leaving the scene of the crash, it’s wise to take some photos and gather your evidence.

Take Photos and Videos

As long as it’s safe (and you’re physically able) to do so, take photos and videos of the scene. Photograph and film each vehicle involved in the accident, and photograph things like broken glass, dents and damages to the car, and visible physical injuries to the victims, as well as the surrounding area which may show how and why the accident happened.

Gather Witness Information

Another of the most important steps to take after a car accident is to collect witness statements. The police should help with this, too, but you can’t necessarily rely on them to speak to everyone and get the statements that can help support your case. Ask passers-by or those in the area if they can share their view of what happened, and take their details so your lawyers can contact them later.

car accident report

Contact Information Exchange

Naturally, another essential step after an accident is to exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the crash. Ask for their car insurance details and note down some contact info, as well as their license plate number. You’ll need all of that to make your auto insurance claim.

File an Accident Report

Once you’ve got all the necessary info, you can make your claim with your insurance company and start your journey towards compensation to cover the relevant costs related to the crash – like repair costs, medical bills, and lost income if you have to take time off work while you recover.

Get in Touch with Your Insurance Company

Most companies will expect you to call them up and explain the details of the accident, and they may have a lot of questions for you about how it happened, who was responsible, who else was involved, etc.

Avoid Providing a Statement to the Other Party’s Insurance Company

We’ve looked at key steps to take after a car accident, but here’s one thing you shouldn’t do. Never provide a statement to the other party’s insurance company. They could easily turn it around and use it against you, making it seem like you were responsible. It’s much better to stay quiet until you’ve spoken with your lawyer and gotten some advice.

Avoid Accepting an Early Settlement Offer From the Other Party’s Insurer

Another thing you should avoid doing: don’t accept early settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance company. If they know that they’re liable for a big payout, insurance companies may try to tempt people into accepting a quick, reduced payment in order to avoid any further hassle. However, it’s best to speak with your lawyer and let them advise you on the best steps, rather than rushing into any decisions.

Speak to an Attorney

Last but certainly not least, get in touch with a lawyer. Car accident cases can be complicated, and many people miss out on compensation or even end up blamed for accidents that weren’t their fault because they didn’t have proper legal guidance on their side. Contact our personal injury lawyers and get the help you need.

To conclude there you have it. All of the most important steps to take after a car accident, whether it be in Portland or somewhere else across the U.S. Always remember to focus on your health and safety above all else and contact the authorities as soon as possible. Then gather evidence, file a claim, and contact a trusted lawyer to guide you through the rest of the process.

Picture of Elodie Harrington

Elodie Harrington

Elodie is a skilled paralegal assistant working with Portland Legal Group. With her attention to detail and dedication to accuracy, Elodie expertly handles legal paperwork, ensuring every detail is perfect. Additionally, she excels in crafting clear and comprehensible legal content, contributing to simplifying the complexities of the law for those she collaborates with.


Table of Contents

More Posts