What to Do Before and After an Auto Accident

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May 18, 2017

No person is completely prepared for a car crash, whether it is minor or major. However, drivers can be more prepared to handle the claims process afterward by remembering some important information. By taking a few simple preparatory steps, auto owners can prevent costly mistakes or delays that keep them from receiving compensation for damages.

What to Do Ahead of Time

Make a list of important information to keep in a vehicle. An insurance agent’s contact information, emergency phone numbers and contact numbers for family members should be included. Download an accident preparedness app on your smartphone to use in the event of an accident. These apps are especially helpful since it may be difficult to remember what to do immediately after an accident with the confusion and stress that inevitably follows. 

What to Do After an Accident

The first and most important step is to seek medical attention if you feel you’ve been injured. Do not get out of the vehicle unless it is unsafe to stay in it. Never admit fault if another driver or spectator approaches. Be polite and courteous to everyone.

If taking any photos after an accident will put anyone at risk, do not take any. Take them from inside of the vehicle until help arrives. When it is safe to do so, take photos of the following:
  • License plates of all involved vehicles.
  • Damages to all involved vehicles.
  • Damage to any property affected by the accident.
  • Street signs or surrounding buildings that identify the location of the accident.
When it is safe to do so, write down the following information:
  • Names and contact information of any other drivers or affected passengers.
  • The year, make and model of any involved vehicles.
  • Insurance and agent contact information for the other driver.
  • Name and contact information for responding police officers.
An agent is an advocate throughout the claims process. Many people are afraid to contact their agent quickly because of a potential rate increase. However, the cost of handling an accident incorrectly can be much more expensive than a small rate increase. To learn more about preparing for an accident, speak with an agent.
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