Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Despite your best driving habits, an accident can happen to anyone at some point in their lives. It’s likely that you use your car every day, which means it’s smart to carry around materials that prepare you for an accident, including information on your car and your insurance and means to take notes and pictures.

You should also make sure that you have a good understanding of what your insurance policy covers. This can help you be ready, but when an accident happens – even a small one – it can be such a stressful event that remembering to keep calm and handle it the correct way can be difficult.

Here are a few simple things to keep in mind.

1. Move Your Car, If You Can

The very first step to take when you get into a car accident is to check for injuries and see if you need to call an ambulance. If there are no serious injuries and your car can be driven, move it to the side of the road and put your hazard lights on. Communicate to the other driver where you’re moving to so they can follow and so they know you’re not leaving the scene. If it is a serious accident, it might be smarter to stay in the car until help arrives, unless you are afraid of damage to the gas tank or someone in your vehicle needs immediate help. Call the police as soon as possible, even if the accident is minor.

Car accident

2. Communicate Smartly with the Other Driver

Exchange information on insurance policies. Make sure you ask if the person driving the car is the same as the person holding the insurance – it could be a friend or relative, in which case you would need information for both parties. It’s very important to avoid discussing details with the other driver. You do not want to admit fault in the accident, even if you think it was your fault. However, take pictures if you can and write down notes – you may be too disoriented to remember things properly later and this can help you avoid a dispute. When the police come, still don’t admit fault. An officer will ask you the details and then he will decide who should be ticketed. Normally, the damage to the cars will tell him more about what happened than either driver can.

3. Call The Insurance Company

If the accident was not your fault, you will want to communicate with the other driver’s insurance company. But if you were at fault, call your insurance company as soon as possible and give them the details of the accident. They will want to know if you have a repair shop in mind that you would like to use, and if you are going to need a rental car. They will give you a damage estimate, and you will have to provide a copy of it to your mechanic.

The first rule of driving is to be prepared, and if you’ve already thought ahead to what you would do in event of an accident, that’s half the battle. Just remember to stay calm, and you will have a better chance at saving yourself money and avoiding complications, not to mention keeping yourself safer.

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