The best case scenario is you will never be involved in a motor vehicle collision – either as a driver or as a passenger. Unfortunately, at least once in their lifetime, most people are involved in a minor fender bender. Should you be unfortunate enough to collide with another vehicle – or should they collide with you – would you know what needs to happen next? What should you do after a car accident?
The basic goals are to get the insurance claim process started, follow the law, and make sure everyone is safe – not necessarily in that order. After an accident, some important decisions need to be made – regardless of whether it’s someone else’s fault or yours.
Following a motor vehicle accident, here are the steps to take.
Checking for Injuries
Have someone else call 911, or do so yourself, if you’re injured. Try not to move if you’re seriously injured. Wait for emergency personnel.
Check on Others
Check on your passengers if you aren’t badly injured. Get emergency services en route if anyone’s hurt.
Move to the sidewalk or the side of the road if you’re able. Pull to the side of the road if your car causes a hazard where it sits, but only if your car is safe to drive. Get yourself to safety over your car if it can’t be moved.
It’s important to call the police whether a major collision has occurred or a fender bender. It is legally required, in fact, in some states.
Until Help Arrives
To warn other vehicles of the incident and possible hazards, use your emergency kit’s flares and turn on your hazard lights (and turn off your engine).
With the other driver, exchange information and/or gather information including the following:
- Accident location
- Model, color, and type of vehicle
- The other driver’s license plate number and driver’s license number
- The policy number and insurance company of the other driver
- Contact information including the full name of the other driver
While all of this is going on, never discuss fault, admit to fault, become combative/accusatory, etc.
Take the following steps to help protect yourself:
- Talk to witnesses and take down names
- Take pictures and/or videos
- Get a copy of the accident report
- Get the badge number and name of each officer who responds to the incident
Finally, you will start the claim process by notifying your insurance company of the accident.
Now You Know What to Do, Make Sure You Have the Right Car Insurance – K&N Insurance Brokerage
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