Steps to Dealing with a Car Accident

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nobody wants to be in a car accident, and often when we find ourselves in one we’re so flustered from the experience we’re not sure of the steps to take.

First thing to do when you are involved in a car accident is to assess the damage. If someone is hurt, call 9-1-1 immediately. Getting injured taken care of is first priority.

If the damage to either vehicle is likely to exceed $1,000 call the police. This is not an option; it is required by law that the police are called for damage exceeding $1,000. It does not take a great deal to reach the $1,000 limit, so it’s likely if there is any damage at all the police need to be involved.

Next, get crucial information from the other driver. This includes their name, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance policy number, name of their insurance company and license plate number. Getting a name and phone number is not enough, as it would be very easy for someone to give you a fake name and number.

If there are any witnesses to your accident, also be sure to gather their names and contact information. A witness can be a crucial to confirming your case.

Next, if you can, take pictures of the accident. Today most of us have a camera built in to our cell phones, and as they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures will help your insurance company and can prove how the accident happened. In the event you or any of your passengers were injured, be sure to get pictures of the injuries after you or they have received emergency care.

Lastly, call your insurance agent. All insurance policies require you to notify the insurance company if you have been in a car accident, and this must be done shortly after the accident. Your insurance agent will be able to walk you through the steps of filing your claim and should be able to answer any further questions you have about the process.