Being involved in a car accident is definitely a frightening experience that can rattle even the calmest drivers. Your mind feels immediately scattered, and you might even forget which steps to take in order to make sure that you, others around you, and your car are out of harm’s way. That’s why it’s a smart idea to brush up on the steps you need to take after you are involved in an accident.
We’ve come up with 7 important steps you need to take in the event you are involved in an accident. Make sure to print this blog out and keep it in your glove compartment – it will help make the whole incident less stressful and make the process much smoother as well.
Move to a Safe Area If Possible – If you’re able to do so and you’re not seriously hurt, try to move your car out of harm’s way like to the shoulder of the road. If this isn’t possible, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the situation.
Shut Off Your Car and Exit – When your car is in a safe spot, turn off the engine, catch your breath, and exit the vehicle. You’ll want to check to make sure that it’s safe to get out before you open the door. If you have any road flares or other safety items, you should consider using them.
Check on the Parties Involved – Next, go ahead and check to see that everyone else involved in the accident is okay, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If anyone is hurt, including yourself, call 911 right away. Even minor symptoms like dizziness or whiplash should be attended to as soon as possible.
Call the Police – You will want to have an accident report filed, so go ahead and call the police to the scene, even if it’s a minor accident. These reports are objective and valuable pieces of information that can help your insurance company and the insurance companies of the other drivers fill in all the blanks. Avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene, and don’t apologize. It’s the job of the police to pass judgment on who (if anyone) is to blame for the accident. If the police are unable to make it, you can file a report through the DMV.
Gather as Much Information as Possible – After making those calls, you’ll want to gather as much information as you can about the accident. Here’s what you’ll want to collect:
*The names of the drivers and passengers involved
*License plate numbers
*Insurance information of all the involved parties
*Makes and models of all vehicles involved
*Contact information for any eyewitnesses
*The location of the accident and the conditions (weather, etc.)
*The name and badge number of any responding officers
Take Photos of the Scene – Make sure to snap some pictures of the accident scene with either your camera or the camera on your smartphone. Memories can become very fuzzy after a stressful event, so these photos will definitely be useful later on in the claims process.
Make and File Your Claim – Check your insurance card for the correct number to call. Your insurance agent will help you file your claim properly.
We know that being in an accident is a scary and stressful time for everyone involved, and the last thing you need to worry about is your vehicle. DentNation can handle all of your collision repairs, no matter how severe the damage. Have your vehicle inspected and repaired by our caring and knowledgeable specialists. Call us at (314) 968-8000 or learn more about us online at www.dentnation.net!