Being involved in an accident can be a nerve-wracking, disorienting experience. It’s upsetting and frustrating for sure, but remaining calm, rational and organized will most definitely help you manage this stressful event and possibly insurance claim. Our agency has created an “Accident Report Guide” to assist you in gathering the information needed in the event of an accident. While the actual form provides a report and diagram to actually fill out on the scene, we’d like to share ten important things to remember following the accident. (Please contact our office if you’d like us to email or mail you this complimentary guide. It’s a good idea to keep it with your insurance card and registration in your glove compartment.)
10 Things to Do or Not Do After a Car Accident:
- Move to the shoulder or other “SAFE AREA” to prevent further damage (when conditions permit) and make sure everyone is okay. Do not administer first aid unless you are LICENSED to do so.
- Ask someone to summon the police and seek medical assistance. Repeat at 5 minute intervals. (A police report may prove extremely valuable in the event of a claim.)
- Remember the 3 C’s: Remain CALM, COURTEOUS, CONSISTENT in your discussion of the accident.
- Obtain complete information from those involved (drivers, passengers, pedestrians). This would include full name, address, phone number, age, and injury, if any.
- Obtain the names of witnesses, including addresses and phone numbers.
- Complete your accident report and gather ALL information at the scene, not later. In addition to information about drivers and passengers, you should include direction and speed of vehicles involved, makes and models of the vehicles, license plate numbers, location of accident, and of course insurance company and policy information.
- Do not “Make a Deal” for damages or accept an offer of cash, check or “private settlement.”
- Do not deny injury to you or your passengers.
- Do not offer to pay ANYTHING even if you think you are at fault.
- Notify the owner of the car that you are driving as soon as possible.
Lastly, contact your insurance carrier if a claim needs to be submitted. While we hope you never need this information, it is important to be familiar with these suggestions while navigating the post-accident process. Again, please contact our office if you would like us to send you a complete Accident Report Guide or if you have any questions. And of course, please contact our office right away if you need help or have any questions at all about turning in your claim, or need someone to follow up with the company on your behalf. We are here to help!