Car accidents can happen anytime and even the most skilled and careful drivers can be involved. In case you’re involved in a car accident it is important that you know which steps to take. While it’s hard to think straight after an accident, having prior knowledge on the questions that may need answers and what to do will certainly come in handy. This checklist comprehensively outlined below will help you know what to do after a car accident.
Determine the Extent of Damage or Injuries
Whatever you do, try and stay calm. When you panic you make others panic as well thereby worsening the situation. It is imperative that you remain calm in order to determine the extent of damage and establish if there are any injuries that may require immediate medical attention.
File a Car Accident Report with the Police
Irrespective of the extent of damage it is important that you make sure there is a legal accident report. Never leave the scene of the accident until the police file a comprehensive report.
Discuss the Accident Only with the Police
After an accident, everyone is in shock and it can be hard to talk about what has just happened. Discussing the immediate details can lead to loss of concentration and you may not think accurately about what has occurred. It is also important to limit discussion of the happenings and not to admit liability or any fault. If you’re to talk about the accident, then you should do so with the police and the insurance agent only.
Collect the Facts
Most people don’t know how important it is to get the facts after an accident. It is essential to make a list of names, address and phone numbers of everyone who was involved in the accident in the one way or the other. Get a description of the car and the license plate number as this may prove helpful. Be sure to get the details of the insurance company and the vehicle identification number of the other vehicle. Never make an assumption that the plate number alone is enough as most insurance companies’ record type of the car, vehicle identification number and not the license plate number.
Call Your Insurance Agent
After the accident, it is important that you call your agent or the insurance company’s emergency line immediately. Most of the time, the police may provide your insurance company with more accurate information rather than giving the agent or the company details which you may not have recorded due to frustration. Providing precise information will save you a lot of time later on as you wait for the claim to be processed.
Important Tips to Remember
· If the accident is minor, move the cars to a safe place, out of traffic
· Make use of the hazard lights, cones, warning triangles or flares for safety
· Don’t sign any documents unless you’re doing so for the police or insurance agent
· It helps having a card with your medical information and that of your family as well
· No matter how tense the situation is, be polite