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What to do After an Auto Accident

What to do After an Auto Accident

You’ve been involved in an auto accident. Do you know what to do? It’s difficult to stay calm and focused after being involved in even a minor accident, but here’s a few tips to make sure you get the information needed to get your life back to normal.

Who’s hurt, what’s damaged?

The most important thing to remember after an auto accident is to stay calm. Panic and you’ll elevate the situation and cause others to panic as well. If you’re not injured, help assess any injuries and aid any injured passengers. If there are no injuries, assess the damage to the vehicles involved. Don’t assign blame or jump to conclusions, as the police will make the determination of fault based on the investigation of the accident.

File an Accident Report with the Police

Even minor accidents require a police report be filed. This ensures the details of the accident are on record and can be referred to at a later date. It’s easy to forget the details of an accident due to the trama associated with the incident.

Only Discuss the Accident with the Police

It’s important to not discuss the accident with other involved drivers, as you may inadvertently waive your rights and those of your insurance company. Only discuss the accident with the investigating police officers. They will make their own determination of fault based on the facts of the accident, not emotion.

Get the Information you Need to File a Claim

In order to expedite the claims process, make sure you get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all involved parties. If there were witnesses to the accident, also obtain their information in case witness testimony is later needed. Be sure to record the insurance information of the other drivers, including company name, policy number and any phone numbers listed on their insurance ID card. If you have a camera handy, photograph the accident scene and pay special attention to getting photos of the license plates of all the invoved vehicles.

Call your Insurance Agent

It’s important to immediately notify your insurance agent or insurance company of the accident while the details are fresh in your mind. If possible, call from the scene of the accident as you will be asked specific questions concerning the location and vehicles involved. Being at the scene while answering these questions can be helpful in filing an accurate claim.

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