Steps You Should Take
We have all been there. Whether it was a fender bender or a major accident, serious or very minimal damage, you need to be prepared. Accidents can happen in a parking lot, on a freeway, or on some vast back-country road. If you drive a vehicle, chances are you will be involved in an accident at some point in your life. Let’s take a look at some steps you should take if or when this happens:
Here are the steps to take if you are involved in an automobile accident:
- Stay – Stay where you are and don’t flee the scene. If at all possible keep the vehicles in the same place as the accident occurred. If this is not safe, then move the vehicles off to the side of the road where it is safe. Don’t panic and assure other passengers that everything will be OK. Accidents happen, so stay calm and remember the following steps.
- Check– Check on everyone to make sure there are no serious injuries. If someone is seriously injured, call an ambulance. If not, make sure everyone exits the vehicles so that damage can be properly assessed. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard safety lights to let other drivers on the road know that you will be there for a while.
- Call- Call the police. They are helpful if you need a negotiator or need to file a report. They can also be helpful when you go to make your claim. Even if the crash is minor, it is a good idea to have things on file with the police.
- Pictures– Take pictures of the cars and any injuries that you or fellow passengers might have. It is good to have a reference in case your insurance agency wants pictures or even if you go to court at some point. In most cases this won’t happen, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
- Exchange- exchange insurance information with the other party. Attain all telephone numbers and addresses of the drivers and passengers of the other car. Get all drivers licenses as well. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. You may need them if there is a dispute over who is at-fault in the accident. Write down the time, location and date of the accident. Get the make and model of each car.
- Notify- Notify your insurance agency and let them know exactly what happened. Also find out exactly what your insurance covers. If it is a hit in run, you should make sure you are covered with uninsured motorist coverage. Find out how much medical coverage you have if you are injured. Making sure you cooperate fully with your insurance agency will pay off in the end.
- File- Keep all documentation and file it away in a safe place. Make it easily accessible in case you need to send something to your insurance agency or have to go to court.
Here are other helpful blogs and websites you might want to check out when making a post-accident checklist: