For most people, auto accidents are an extremely rare occurrence. When it does happen, it can come as a big shock followed by a big question: what do I do next?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Hopefully it will be a long time before you have to worry about how to handle an accident, but if it happens, use this list and you’ll know exactly what to expect and what to do.
CHECK FOR INJURIES
When an accident happens, do a quick self-assessment to figure out if you or your passengers are hurt. If you’re okay, and it’s safe to do so, check on the other driver, especially if you don’t see movement from their vehicle. Call 911 if you even suspect anyone has been injured. Don’t move – yourself or anyone else – if you’re concerned about an injury. Movement can make it worse. Wait until the paramedics arrive.
MOVE TO A SAFER PLACE
Hopefully no one is injured and your vehicle still functions. If it does, move to a safer place on the side of the road. This will help minimize the chance of another accident by another driver who wasn’t paying attention. It will also help keep traffic from backing up too much. If this isn’t possible, don’t worry about your car. Get you and your passengers safely to the side of the road instead.
CALL FOR HELP
It’s possible that a witness has already called 911 and police are just now arriving. If not, go ahead and call for help. When they arrive, cooperate fully with the officers. Don’t be afraid to ask their names and take down their information, such as badge number, to give to the insurance company later.
GET THE OTHER DRIVER’S INFORMATION
Assuming everyone is able to move around and speak, and no one is being rushed to the hospital, go ahead and get information from the other driver:
- Contact Number
- Make and model of their vehicle
- Insurance information
- License plate number
TAKE PHOTOS OF THE SCENE
Take pictures or even video of the vehicles involved. You’ll be able to send this to your insurance provider so they have as much information as possible.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Even if you can’t get all the information you need – maybe the driver can’t speak or doesn’t have their information handy – go ahead and call your insurance company as soon as possible. It’s always better to start the claim sooner rather than later. Share what information you do know. If you’re able to get everything you need, even better.
Hopefully your experience with accidents is rare and you don’t have to think much about what to do if it happens to you. But when it does, use this list to get through the process as safely as possible while also helping your insurance provider process your claim as quickly as possible.
If you’ve got questions about your current auto insurance coverage, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll make sure you have the best coverage at the best price and that you understand exactly how you’re protected in the event of an accident or other problem.