Table of Contents
Did you know that six million car accidents occur every year? Despite the regularity of car accidents, the incident can be shocking for many people. Because of this, it’s easy to freeze up when your vehicle crashes or gets hit.
This can make you forget important things like contact information. The key is to memorize what to do after a car crash. Luckily, we’ve organized this helpful guide to walk you through the process. Let’s get started!
What to Do After a Car Crash: Five Easy Steps
Let’s say you get in an accident. Immediately stop your car, regardless of whether someone hit you or you crashed your car.
Make sure to never take responsibility for the accident — even if you caused it. Doing so can breach the contract you may have with your insurance company. Instead, follow these five steps exactly.
1) Make Sure Everyone is Safe
The first thing you should do is to check the status of everyone involved in the crash. Inspect yourself and any passengers for external injuries. If you’re injured, then call 911, or get someone else to do it for you.
After you make sure everyone in your vehicle is all right, then you can check anyone else involved. If any of them need medical attention, then call for an ambulance. We recommend not moving your vehicle if you can for insurance purposes.
However, if you’re in an unsafe location, or causing major traffic, then you may need to move it off to the side. If your vehicle is undrivable, then leave it and get to the side of the road or sidewalk area.
2) Contact 911
You may think that you don’t need to contact the police after an accident, but it’s important. Why? Because doing so will help facilitate information between all the parties involved.
The police officers act as official witnesses and file accident reports. These accident reports are important if you want a smooth insurance claim process. So, even if you’re involved in a minor fender bender you should still contact the police.
If the police don’t arrive, then visit a police station after the accident. Or you can find one at your local DMV department. There you can complete a report yourself.
3) Exchange Information With Other Parties
Once you make sure everyone is safe and contact the police, then you can exchange information with the other parties. You should ask the individual for their full name, home address, cell phone number, and email.
Then ask about their insurance company and policy number. Provide the other party with your information as well. Ideally, you can take a picture of their insurance card. You should also ask if you can take a picture of their driver’s license.
You should also make a note of the accident location, the type of car, and license plate number.
As we mentioned earlier, you mustn’t talk about the particulars of your accident. This can implicate you in the court proceedings which will affect your insurance claim.
4) Document Important Accident Information
Now it’s time to document the scene of the accident. Once the police officers arrive you should ask for their names and badge numbers. From there they should start filling out an accident report.
Try to include as many details as you can in the report. Things like specific streets, the direction you were headed, time of the accident, and driving conditions can all be helpful. Once they finish, ask them where you can receive a copy of the form.
It’s also a smart idea to take photos of the accident. Take multiple photos from different angles so you get a good layout of the scene. If you need to move the vehicles from the initial accident site, then try to take pictures before moving them.
Finally, look around for potential witnesses. This can be anyone who saw the accident happen with their own eyes. If you find any, then ask for their names and contact information.
5) Start the Claims Process With Your Insurance Company
Once you record all the important accident info, then you can start the claims process. You can do this by contacting your insurance agent. From here they will walk you through the claim process for their particular company.
Usually, this involves providing them with all the information from the accident, as well as any documentation you collected. During this time we recommend asking questions about your deductible and rental reimbursement options.
You should also ask how long the claims process will take. Keep in mind that there is a set period in which you can pursue financial claims.
Once this statute of limitations expires, you will not be able to take any legal action. Consult this helpful guide to learn more about this important part of the law.
Once you exchange enough information, then the insurance company will send an adjuster to you. These individuals are responsible for inspecting the damage to the car.
They determine who was at fault and provide a rough estimate. Unfortunately, some insurance companies make you provide an estimate from a repair shop.
They then take the repair shops’ reports into account when calculating the estimate. After you get an estimate, then your insurance agent will walk you through your different repair options.
Want More Helpful Articles? Keep Reading the Florida Independent
We hope this article helped teach you what to do after a car crash. We know the process can be stressful, but if you follow these five easy steps, then you’ll be alright.
The most important thing to being a responsible driver after a car crash is taking down lots of details. Are you looking for more articles on everything from fashion to technology? If so, then keep on exploring the vast amount of topics available on the Florida Independent.