What Should You Do After An Accident?
The first step to take after a car accident is to ensure that you and any others involved in the accident are safe. If possible, it’s imperative to move the vehicles involved to the side of the road prior to contacting the authorities. Then, you must gather all the essential information and begin the claims process. Here’s a simple checklist for you to follow to help you at the scene of the accident and for when you file a claim.
Stay Calm & Stay Safe
Firstly, ensure that you and the passengers in both your car and the other car involved are safe. Then, if you car is safe to drive, move it to the side of the road and out of traffic.
Call the Police
Next, call 911 immediately and wait at the scene until the authorities arrive. Then, provide the police with all the essential information including any injuries and what happened. It’s highly advised to stick with the facts.
If for whatever reason the police can’t get to the scene or aren’t dispatched, then you can exchange all the vital information with the other driver. In most cases, you’ll file a report yourself at your local police station or department of motor vehicles instead.
Regardless of who caused the car accident, it’s highly advised to relay your version of the incident to the officer handling the police report, even if the accident is minor.
Exchange Info & Take Images and Videos
It’s important to swap information with the other driver for documentation purposes. This information includes, insurance information such as their insurance company and policy number. Contact information includes their full name, phone number, license plate number email address, drivers license number, their vehicles year, make and model.
Then, gather images and videos from multiple angles to show exactly where any impact and damage occurred on the vehicle. These images can help your claims representative determine who’s at fault in the accident.
Begin The Claims Process
A car insurance claim is a request for financial compensation that a driver files with an insurance company after their vehicle is damaged or if they’re injured in a car accident.
Regardless of who’s at fault in the car accident, you should always insure your car insurance company that a car accident has occurred.
Prepare to provide the following information:
- Which covered vehicle was involved
- Who was driving the vehicle
- Exact location and time of the accident
- A basic description of the accident and the severity of the damage done
- The name and insurance information of the other driver
- Names and contact information of all involved in the accident and witnesses if there were any
Many insurance companies give you the option of filing a claim online, over the phone, or through their official mobile app. Most of the time, your insurer needs some basic information about the accident to open a claim, including any pictures and/or videos you took of the damage.
A claims representative assigned to you will help you through the claims process, including scheduling repairs or answering any questions you have.