Car accidents are no fun. After a car accident, things become so hectic so fast it’s sometimes hard to keep your head on straight. We hope these 6 steps help to keep your post-accident experience as smooth, calm and focused aspossible.
1. GET TO SAFETY
If you are not seriously injured and you’re able to do so, move your vehicle out of any further harm. This will more than likely include the shoulder of the road or a nearby, less busy street. If your vehicle is totaled or you are too injured to be in control, turn your car off, switch your hazards on and proceed to the next step.
2. CHECK FOR INJURIES
Once your vehicle is parked, turned off and no longer in motion, take a moment to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and keep calm. Check yourself for any injuries or places of discomfort. If you are injured call 911. If coherent enough to do so, triple check that you are completely out of harm’s way and exit your vehicle. If you have emergency safety flares in your vehicle, consider using them. Check on other passengers, drivers or pedestrians involved in the crash. If anyone is injured call 911. In an event of a car accident, even minor symptoms like dizziness or nausea should be examined by a health care professional.
3. CALL THE POLICE
Even in minor car accidents, a police person’s assistance and written report can prove priceless when dealing with other drivers and insurance companies. It’s important to remember to completely cooperate with the police, but to avoid admitting any fault. The police report will objectively judge if anyone is at fault. If the accident is so minor that the police aren’t able to make the scene, file an accident report with the state’s DMV.
4. COLLECT AND EXCHANGE INFORMATION
Aside from the information that the police will record, it’s important to collect information of your own. We highly suggest gathering contact information of all persons involved (eye witnesses included) and willing to cooperate — names, numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance companies and policy numbers, etc. We also suggest writing down the make, model, year and license plate number of any other vehicles involved. Take down the address of where the accident happened as well as your police officer’s name and badge number.
5. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
Almost all mobile phones come manufactured with some sort of camera, use your phone to snap photos of theaccident scene and the damage of all vehicles involved. These photos will provide concrete proof of any claims being made, and will come in handy when insurance companies becomes involved.
6. CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Regardless of whoever is at fault, your insurance company should be notified immediately. File a claim, and let your insurance agent know of any information you received on the accident scene.
We know that both major and minor car crashes take a toll on your mind and body. We hope our post-accident steps help to alleviate some of that stress. Remember — stay calm, cool and collected. Should you have any questions about the repair process we are always here to help.