Getting into a car accident can be a shocking experience. One moment you’re driving along, minding your own business and the next you are on the side of the road assessing the damage. It is certainly not an ideal situation, but it is one that many people face at some point in their lifetime.
Every year roughly six million car accidents occur. Thankfully, only about half of these crashes result in injury or death. Still, the moments after an accident can shake you up a little bit. It’s important to be aware of how to properly handle this type of issue and get everything in order.
Check on everyone
Once you regain your composure following an accident it is important check on everyone involved. You will want to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is safe and healthy. Next, check to see that everyone in the other car is safe as well. If there are any injuries, make sure that anyone requiring medical attention receives the care that they need.
Call the authorities
Now that you have made sure that everyone is safe, you should give the police a call. This is not always completely necessary, but it can be helpful for documenting the accident. The officers will come and examine the scene, which is important for you to file an insurance claim. Having the police present gives you a firm assessment of what happened and allows you to properly move forward with the process.
Getting into an accident can make for a bit of an awkward situation. That said, it is still important for you to exchange information with the other person involved. Make sure to get their name, phone number, insurance information and anything else you may need at a future point in time. Fortunately, the police will also have everything on file from your incident, but it’s nice to have your own record if you have difficulty receiving the information from the authorities.
Document the accident
It is always good to document the accident yourself. Any information that you can personally take down about the incident could be important in the future. Take notes on where the accident occurred, what happened, visible damages and anything you feel might be necessary to explain what unfolded. If possible, you may want to take pictures of damage and speak with anyone who saw the incident.
Keeping an organized file of everything will help you when filing your claim with your insurance company.
Notify your insurance company
After cooperating with the police and documenting everything about your crash, it is now time to contact your insurance company. Ideally, you want to do this as quickly as possible. The quicker you do this, the faster you will have everything resolved. If you have an organized, well-documented record of the incident, this part of the process should move smoothly.