An unexpected car accident can leave you feeling scattered. It’s important to be prepared on post-accident procedures now, rather than later. Use this 7-step guide to help make the moments after an accident less stressful – and the claims process smoother.
What you can do before the accident
No matter how clean your driving record is, you never know when an accident can happen. Use these tips to make sure you’re ready for the unpredictable:
- Pack a safety kit (first-aid, pen and paper, flat tire kit, flashlight, blanket)
- Keep essential documents ready (ID, additional insurance company contact information, vehicle registration, health plan info, etc.)
- Have your phone on you and charged whenever you are on the road
What to do when an accident occurs
Photograph the scene and the vehicle damage (if you can)
Documenting the accident scene and the vehicles involved with photographs can remind you of what happened and be helpful to the insurance company when describing what happened.
Move to a safe area (if you can)
If it is safe to do so and you are not seriously injured, move your car out of further harm’s way. If moving your car is not possible, flip on your vehicle’s hazard lights to warn others on the road that your vehicle will not be moving soon.
Stop your vehicle and get out
Make sure your vehicle has stopped moving, shift into park or set the hand brake, and turn off the engine. After, you should check to make sure it is safe to get out of your vehicle before opening the door.
Check the others involved
Check on all other parties involved, such as drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to make sure no one is hurt. If anyone may be injured, call 911. Even with a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness, it should still be checked out by a health care professional.
Call the police to the scene
Even in minor accidents, having a police report can prove invaluable when dealing with other drivers and your car insurance company. In every case, let the police objectively judge events and determine, if anyone, is at fault for the crash.
After an accident, writing down as much information as possible can be crucial. Take note of information like:
- License plate numbers
- Make and models of all vehicles involved
- Driver and passenger names
- Insurance information
- Location of accident
- Contact information from any eyewitnesses
File your insurance claim
Be sure to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. If you don’t know who to contact, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
After following these steps, it is now our turn to help. We’ll work with you to get your car repaired as quickly as possible.