No driver ever expects to be in an automobile accident. However, accidents can happen to the best drivers and there is likely to be confusion in the moments immediately following the collision. As a result, it is not always easy to know what to do next. Assuming you are not gravely injured, below are a few steps you should take after a car accident that will get you on the right track to recovery quickly:
- Contact the police immediately – Even minor accidents need to be reported to the police. Your insurance agency will look to this report when handling your claim.
- Do not admit fault – Discussing the accident with other drivers or witnesses is more harmful than helpful. Do not discuss the events with anyone but the police. If necessary, return to your vehicle and remain inside with the doors locked.
- Collect information – Collect the following information from any other drivers or passengers involved and, if possible, any witnesses to the accident:
- Full names and addresses
- Telephone numbers and email addresses
- Insurance company’s name and phone number
- Insurance policy numbers
- Stay calm – After an accident, emotions will be running high and people may be upset. Remain calm and be polite throughout the documentation, police interview, and information collection process.
- Take pictures – Using your mobile phone or other camera, take pictures of all the property damage resulting from the accident. Remember to take pictures of any physical injuries as well as damage to all vehicles and property.
- Contact your insurance agent – Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to relay the information you have collected from other drivers and witnesses as well as the time and location of the accident, any injuries sustained, and police report number or police jurisdiction in which the accident occurred.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you aren’t injured, there may be medical issues that are not immediately apparent. It may be a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that you receive any necessary medical treatment.
Create an Accident Preparedness Kit
Many commuters spend a lot more time on the road than the average driver. If your job has you on the road a lot, it is a good idea to be prepared for unexpected accidents. Gather the following items to create an accident preparedness kit to keep in your vehicle at all times:
- Disposable Camera – It’s essential to document any property damage or bodily injuries resulting from the accident with photos. Your mobile phone may have a camera suitable for this purpose but having a backup device is the best plan.
- Accident Report Sheet – To prevent any questions or information from being overlooked, include a written list of the information that needs to be collected from the other drivers.
- Blank Paper & Pen – Keep a pad of paper and pen handy to collect all necessary information.
- Emergency Contact Numbers – It’s also a good idea to include a hard copy of essential contact numbers such as those for your spouse, other family members, and your insurance company.
Hopefully you never need to use the information above, but it’s important to be prepared for unexpected accidents on the. At Knapton, Reade & Woods, your safety is important to us. For additional safety tips and other useful resources, please read our blog, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.