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What to Do After a Car Accident

Monday, April 11, 2016

Car accidents happen unexpectedly, even to the most careful drivers. Getting in a car accident can be scary and disorienting, but following a few simple steps can ensure safety for everyone involved and make the resulting process easier.

Before the Accident:

Nobody plans on being in an accident, but having a few things prepared in case of an accident is extremely beneficial.

  • Carry a set of reflective warning triangles in you trunk to warn traffic of the accident. You can find these at any auto parts store or online for less than $20.
  • Keep you insurance information in your car, along with a pen and paper to take down any information you’ll need after the accident

Immediately After the Accident:

  • Stay calm and take a moment to compose yourself. Getting in an accident can be scary, but getting upset will only make things worse.
  • Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers. Call an ambulance when in doubt.
  • If you are in a minor accident, safely move your car out of traffic.
  • Put on your hazard lights and set up any warning triangles, cones, or flares you might have.
  • Call the police, even if it’s only a minor accident.
  • Gather information from the people involved and any police officer who may be on the scene. What Information to Take Down.
  • Take pictures of the scene, damage to your vehicle, and any people involved.
  • Contact your insurance company to start filing a claim.

Other Tips:

  • Be polite to the other driver, but don’t admit fault or say you’re sorry.
  • Do not sign any documents unless it is for the police or your insurance agent.
  • If possible, don’t leave before the police and other drivers.
  • Neither the police nor the other driver will need your Social Security number. Don’t give it to them.

Following these simple steps can make the stressful process easier on everyone and make sure everyone walks away safely.