It can be stressful to deal with an auto accident, that is why many people search “what to do when you get in a car accident?” Staying calm is an important part of how to handle an accident because it allows you to focus better.
Below are the five steps to take after a car accident:
- If your car accident was minor and the vehicles are drivable, move out of traffic.
- Put your vehicle in the park, turn your hazard lights on and turn the ignition off.
- If you have a roadside kit and are able to place flares, warning triangles, cones, or other means of warning others of the auto accident.
2. Call For Help
- Check Injuries: First, check yourself, passengers, and if possible, other drivers for injuries. When you’re not sure, call an ambulance or ask for one when calling the police.
- Call Police: You need to call the police and get a report, even for minor auto accidents. Insurance companies use police reports to establish fault to process damage claims.
3. Collect Driver Information
After ensuring safety and calling for help, collect or exchange information with the other drivers involved. Your insurance company will ask for this information when filing a claim.
- Names and contact information of each driver
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Vehicle descriptions involved – year, make, and model
- Location or address of the accident
- Insurance policy numbers and company names
- Names and contact information of eyewitnesses
- Police officer names and badge numbers
- Take Pictures: You will want to get plenty of images of damage to your vehicle, and the others involved (if it is safe).
- Only sign documents from your insurance agent or police reports. Do not sign anything from other drivers involved.
- Do not claim fault, even if it may have been. Leave it up to the police and your auto accident attorney.
4. File Your Car Accident Claim
You do not have to wait to file a claim, you can call your insurance company and begin the claim process from the scene of the accident with the information collected. Follow up later when things calm down to provide any additional information needed.
Depending on your insurance provider, they may offer a mobile app or online claim form to simplify the process.
5. Roadside Assistance
If you had a major car accident and the vehicle is unable to be driven after the accident, call for roadside assistance. Many insurance companies include roadside assistance help, but maybe a reimbursement.
6. Call Your Auto Accident Attorney
If you are found at fault, an attorney can help protect you from excessive damage or injury claims. If you were found not at fault, a personal injury attorney can help ensure you are properly compensated for both the damages and injuries sustained during the car accident.