5 Steps To Follow After A Car Accident

Caution cone set out near a traffic accident

No matter how diligently you drive, car accidents are sometimes unavoidable. It is important to know about the following steps to take in case you are involved in a crash.

Step 1: Check Yourself & Your Passengers For Injuries

If you are injured, call 911, or asked someone else to do so if you are unable. If you have passengers in your vehicle, check to see if anyone else has been hurt. If you are able, move off the road to safety. If your car is safe to drive, pull it off to the side of the road to avoid causing a hazard.

Step 2: Call The Police

Whether it is a minor fender bender or major collision with injuries, it is important to call the police and get a report on file. In fact, in some states you are legally required to do so. The officers who respond to the call will complete an accident report and document the scene of the crash. While you are waiting for the police or an ambulance to appear, turn off your engine, turn on your hazard lights, and use road flares to warn other vehicles. If it is a minor accident and no officer is available to come to the scene, go to the nearest police station and file a report yourself. You are likely to need a copy of the police report when filing a claim with your insurer.

Step 3: Exchange Information With Other Drivers

After a collision, it is important to get information from any other drivers involved in the crash. That information should include:

  • Full name
  • Contact information
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Type, color, and model of vehicle

Avoid discussing fault with the other driver or drivers. Insurance adjusters determine fault through an inspection of the vehicles, information provided by you and other parties, and documentation, such as the police report and photographs of the scene.

Step 4: Document The Crash

You can help protect yourself by gathering as much documentation as possible, including:

  • Names and badge numbers of responding officers
  • Copy of the police report
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Names and addresses of all parties involved, including passengers in the other vehicle(s)
  • Contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident

Step 5: Notify Your Insurance Company

Call your car insurance agent as soon as possible, maybe even while you are still at the scene of the crash. Your agent will tell you how to go about filing a claim and what to expect in the process.

The Importance Of Having The Right Auto Insurance Company

With distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, and drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs on the roadways today, the chances of being involved in a crash are greater than ever. It is important to have an auto insurance policy that provides the coverage you need from a company that provides excellent claims service should an accident occur. Our knowledgeable agents can help you find a policy that suits your needs from a reputable company at the best available rates.