Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are unexpected and can be very scary. The good part about an auto accident is your auto coverage, which will help pay for injuries and to the damage to your vehicle and any involved if you were at fault. If you've never been in an accident before, you may not know what to do if you are involved in one. See below for some steps to follow if you find yourself in an accident and aren't sure what to do.
First Check For Injuries
Inspect yourself and your other passengers for any injuries. Assess the injuries and call for help immediately if anyone needs help in your vehicle. If you and your passengers are okay, check for any injuries in the other vehicle involved (if there was another vehicle involved). Again, call for help if there are any injuries. Remain calm throughout the situation and try to keep a level head.
Exchange Insurance Information
Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver (if there was another vehicle involved). You don't need to give out personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, or addresses. Simply exchange names and insurance information and that is all. If anyone asks you for anything else, don't provide it - unless the police are asking for it.
Make A Police Report
If there aren't any injuries, you may not need to call the police for a police report. Call the police department and find out how they handle the situation. You may be able to go to the police department to have the report filed, rather than calling a police officer to the scene of the accident. A report can be picked up from the police station later, which may be required by your insurance carrier.
Take photos of the accident scene, including your vehicle and the other party's car that was involved. Take photos of the inside and outside of the vehicle and all sides of the vehicle. Take pictures of injuries that were incurred to you and to anyone else that was in your own vehicle.
Call Your Insurance Carrier
Call the phone number on your auto insurance card to report the accident and provide them with as much information as possible about the incident, including the other insured party's information. They may ask you for the police report, faxing or e-mailing it to them as soon as it becomes available.
If you are in an accident, it's important to remain calm and remember the steps you should take immediately afterward. Don't worry too much about your vehicle, and take care of you and the rest of your passengers. Cars can be replaced, people cannot. If you have any other questions concerning your accident, call your insurance carrier.