Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
A car accident is a terrifying experience for anyone, but if you’re not prepared it can be even worse. That’s because you find yourself suddenly faced with a whole bunch of different problems that you need to resolve, and no idea just how to do it. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as all that. You just have to know the right steps to follow.
- Make Sure Everyone is All Right
The physical safety of everyone involved in the car accident should be your number one priority. Make sure that you and anyone else in your vehicle are okay and then check on the people in the other vehicles involved. If there are serious injuries or any injuries that need medical attention make sure that you jump to step 3 right away and take care of the people involved. The rest can wait.
- Evaluate the Accident
In some cases the accident may have been minor. You might have a scrape on your vehicle or you may have no damage at all. In these cases it is up to you and the other driver to decide what you’re going to do. In a more serious accident it’s important that you evaluate the vehicles and that you proceed to step
- Call 911
In minor accidents where there is little or no damage and you and the other party are not planning to report the accident for insurance purposes, you don’t need to call 911. If you are planning to report the car accident to your insurance company, however, you must get a police report. This means calling and having an officer report and evaluate the situation.
- Be Clear and Concise
Tell the officer what happened and what the damages are. This includes any injuries that you or the other people in your vehicle have suffered as well as any damages to the vehicle itself. Point out any areas where damage is visible. The officer should take down your statement and take photographs of all injuries or damage.
- Get Insurance and Police Report Information
Talk with the other driver to get their license and insurance information to report to your car insurance company. Make sure you also get all the information you can about the police report that will be filed. This will generally take a day or more to be completed, but the officer should have the report number available immediately.
- Clear the Scene
It seems like tow truck drivers always know when there’s an accident where they might be needed. If your vehicle is not drivable talk with the tow truck driver at the scene or call your own to get your vehicle removed. If your insurance company has a specific company they deal with try to have them come to pick up your vehicle. If the vehicle is drivable you should be able to remove it. Make sure the officer investigating has completed everything they need before removing the vehicle.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s crucial that (if you have insurance) you contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. As soon as you have left the scene you should let your insurance company know what happened and you should make sure they know the report number for the car accident, all of the information necessary and where your vehicle can be found. They will need to review all of this information to make a decision on what your policy covers.
- Take Care of Yourself
Once all of the adrenaline from the accident has cleared your system and you’ve taken care of the major tasks necessary it’s time to just take a moment to relax. Being in a car accident is stressful even when it doesn’t cause you physical injury. So taking a little time to let that stress out and to calm yourself down is important as you continue through the process of dealing with the accident.