A “Crash Course” in Auto Accidents

If you are in an accident, it’s important to know what to do. Even a minor “fender-bender,” can be upsetting. Here are some specific steps to take immediately after a car accident:

1. Stay calm. Don’t accuse the other driver or accept blame. Leave it to the police and your insurer to determine who was at fault. Focus your attention on dealing with the situation at hand.

2. Assess injuries and call for help. Even before you call the police, check to see if anyone at the scene is injured. If so, try to assess the severity of the injuries and seek medical attention immediately.

3. Leave the scene “as is.” It’s best to leave an accident scene untouched until the police arrive. However, if your vehicle is obstructing traffic, you may need to move it to prevent further damage.

4. Notify authorities. Call the police. If you do not notify them at the time of the incident, contact them as soon as possible after it. Having a record of the accident, even if it was minor, can help protect you from unfounded claims that may arise later.

5. Obtain information on the other driver(s). Write down the name, address, telephone number, license number, insurer, and insurance policy number of every driver involved in the incident. Also, note each vehicle’s year, make, model, and license plate or registration number. Ask to see each driver’s license and registration. These two documents provide most of the information you’ll need. If the other driver does not own the vehicle, ask for information on the owner.

6. Identify eyewitnesses. If possible, obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses.

Hopefully, you will never be involved in an auto accident. If you are, following these simple steps may simplify the situation. Also, review your insurance coverage frequently so that you are familiar with your coverage.

 

 

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