Car accidents seem commonplace when you look at the traffic report in the morning. However, if it’s been a while since your last fender-bender a sudden car crash can leave even the most experienced driver completely shaken.
That’s why it’s it important to know what to do.
Recently I was on the phone with a friend of mine, when she was in fact involved a collision. Flustered, she asked me what she should do and I actually had to think for a moment. It had been ages since my last mishap behind the wheel.
So, after careful consideration, here’s how you too can make the moments after a car accident count.
Stop and check for damage or injuries. Get out of your car safely and take the time to check on everyone involved, make sure to include all drivers, passengers, and any pedestrians. Also, look for any car damages. Call 911 if anyone is injured.
Move to a safe place. If you can, try to move your car to the shoulder of the road. If moving your car is not an option turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
Call the police. A police report is essential when dealing with your insurance company. Let the police objectively judge the events and determine who is at fault in the accident. Never admit responsibility or blame others for the crash. If the fault cannot be determined by the police officer, your insurance carrier will determine the at-fault driver.
Gather information. Make sure to get the correct information, including:
- Names of everyone involved
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Location of the accident
- Name and badge number of any responding police officers
- Contact info for any eyewitnesses
Document the scene. Take photos of the accident. Include images of your car and the other person’s car along with any injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company. File a claim with your insurance company.