What to do after an auto accident

October 26th, 2015 by admin

Getting into a car accident can leave you feeling shaken, making it difficult to think clearly and decide what to do next. By thinking ahead of time about what those next steps should be, you can ready yourself to respond appropriately and quickly despite the high emotion and tension of the moment. In this post, we'll guide you through some important post-accident procedures to keep in mind if you should ever find yourself in a crash. 

  • Move to a safe area: If the accident is minor and you can do so safely, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe area. If things are more serious, turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers know your car will be stationary for some time. 
  • Check yourself and others: When your vehicle has stopped moving, shift the car into park and turn off the engine. Take a deep breath and assess your health. If you determine that you are not injured, get out of the car and check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one else is hurt. If anyone may be injured, call 911. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.
  • Call the police: Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can provide invaluable information when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. While they may not send an officer if nobody is injured, you should always call the police and allow them to make that determination. Cooperate with officers when they arrive, but avoid admitting fault or blaming other drivers for the accident. Instead, let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
  • Gather information: After the scene settles down, try to gather as much information as possible, including the names of drivers and passengers of any cars involved in the crash, their license plate numbers, insurance policy information, makes and models of vehicles, contact information for eyewitnesses and the name and badge number of any officers who respond to the scene. If you have a smart phone, your camera can prove helpful in collecting this information as well as in documenting the damage for future use when filing your insurance claim. 

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