An unexpected car accident is always a little bit unnerving, which is why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with post-accident procedures now, when you’re safe and calm. Following these steps after a car accident will allow you to help make sure everybody is safe, follow the law and get the insurance claim process started.
Check Yourself For Injuries
If you’re seriously injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. Try not to move, and wait for emergency personnel.
Check On the Well-Being Of Your Passengers
If you’re not too injured and can move, check on everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. When in doubt, call an ambulance. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional, just to be safe.
Get To Safety
If your car is safe to drive and is in the way where it is, move it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety. Turn on your hazard lights and use cones or flares if you have them, to warn other drivers.
Call the Police
Whether your accident is minor or major, it is important to call the police. In some places, it’s legally required. They will fill out an accident report and document the scene. If the police can’t come to you, you can go to the nearest police station and fill out a report yourself. When you file a claim with your insurer, they could ask for a copy of the police report as part of the claims process. Be cooperative, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others for the accident. Let the police determine who, is at fault.
Make sure to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. The most important information to exchange is:
- Full name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Type, color and model of vehicle
- Location of accident
Again, be polite, but admit that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
Document the Accident
To help protect yourself, it is a good idea to take the following steps:
- Identify the officers.
Once the police arrive, get the name and badge number of all responding officers.
- Get a copy of the accident report
Ask the officers where you can get a copy of the accident report. Your insurer might ask for a copy of it when you file a claim.
- Take pictures
Take pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. Also consider taking pictures of the other car’s license plate. If you can share photos with your insurer during the claims process that may help support your claim.
- Take names
Write down the names and addresses of everyone involved, including passengers in the other vehicle.
- Speak to witnesses
If there were any witnesses, take down their names and contact information.
Notify Your Insurer and Start the Claims Process
It may be a good idea to call your insurance agent while you’re at the scene. This way, they can tell you exactly what they need in order to process your claim. If you aren’t sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
Here at Lantz Family Insurance Agency we are committed to providing our clients with quality insurance and superior customer service – including when disaster strikes. Should the need arise to file a claim, we’re ready to assist you in any way we can. Call us for a FREE, No Obligation Quote at 774-992-0789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter C. Lantz (Pete) has been a Licensed Insurance Agent in Massachusetts for more than 10 years. He has worked for Arbor Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and USA Wealth Group, Inc. as an Insurance Broker and Financial Advisor. Pete has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Pete has his Real Estate Brokers’ License, as well as Life and Health Insurance Licenses.