What to Do After a Car Wreck

A Modern Survival Guide Interlude

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  1. Stay out of trouble
  2. Protect yourself from the other driver
  3. Deal with insurance bureaucracy

Stay Safe

Staying safe after an accident falls into two categories: Injury assessment and clearing the road.

Stay Out of Trouble

There are a handful of things you can do immediately after a car wreck to keep yourself from getting in trouble with the law. The first and most important of these is simply to stay on the scene. If you leave before (at minimum) exchanging contact information with the other driver, you’re perpetrating a hit and run. Most accidents are not crimes — that’s why they’re called “accidents” — but running from them is.

Protect Yourself from the Other Driver

Now, if there’s one thing we know about people, it’s that people can be assholes. People under pressure are even more likely to walk this path. Car wrecks put people under pressure; it’s an emotional, physical, and financial strain. So there are some steps you need to take to protect yourself from the other person.

Deal With Insurance Bureaucracy

Ok, the wreck is over, the scene is safe, and you’ve got your pictures. Now what?

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Insurance info

And Now It’s Time to Wait

Once your car gets to an auto body shop, you should push them to replace rather than repair parts if at all possible. Repaired parts lower the resale value of the car; replaced parts don’t (for the most part).

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