You’re driving along, paying attention to the roads, ready to get where you’re going, when suddenly you end up in a car accident. Nothing can ruin your day more than a car accident. You may have injuries sustained from the accident, your vehicle is damaged, and now you have something else added to your plate.
There are several things to do once you find yourself in an accident, and you can learn more here about what to do. What are the first steps after a car accident has occurred?
Check for Injuries
The first step after a car accident is to check for injuries, which may seem obvious. Still, sometimes people get into car accidents, and emotions and adrenaline are so high that they don’t realize they’re injured until later or the next day. Of course, one will notice major injuries but check for strains, cuts, and bruises that may need medical attention.
Check with the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident to see if anyone else is injured.
Call Emergency Vehicles
If there are injuries, call for an ambulance. If there are no injuries, call for a police officer to come to the scene. If your vehicle is inoperable, call your insurance company, and they will send out a tow truck or inform you to call the tow truck. Your insurance company may also contact the proper emergency response.
The next step after a car accident is to inspect your vehicle for damage. Take photos on your phone of all damage in and outside the vehicle. You want to have these photos to show your insurance company.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver(s)
Be sure to exchange contact and insurance information with all drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you collect names, phone numbers, insurance carriers, the best time to reach them, and what type of insurance they have – full coverage, liability, etc.
If any witnesses saw the accident, the police will get a witness statement and provide that information on the report. But get all the witness’s contact information as well.
Provide Information to The Police
When the police arrive, let them know what happened. The police will make a report and give it to each driver. Be sure you get the police report or a copy of it.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve collected all the pertinent information, contact your insurance company and let them know you’ve been in an accident. They will start a claim. Let the insurance company know if there were any injuries, what hospital (if applicable), if your car is operable, what happened, and who was at fault.
Provide all the necessary details on your initial phone call with the insurance company – don’t leave anything out. If a passenger was injured, let them know that. If you were at fault, let them know – they will likely find out anyway. And if the other driver didn’t have insurance, let your insurance company know.
The insurance company will receive a police report or will ask you to send them a copy. They may ask you for the other driver(s) or witness contact information. Let the insurance company know if you need a car rental or not. The sooner you let them know, the sooner you’ll be able to get a rental car.
Send All Paperwork to the Insurance Company
Your insurance company may require you to send certain information to them within a specific timeframe. Be sure to send all documents within that time frame. A delay in doing so may cause delays with your insurance claim or cause the insurance company to deny your claim altogether.
If you were injured and were in the hospital, let your insurance company know that you may not be able to send certain documents at a specific time. If possible, the best thing to do is to ask someone to send those documents to the insurance company for you.
The Bottom Line
After carefully following the previous steps, keep in touch with your insurance company, especially if you have hospital bills or require a car rental. Some insurance companies work well with their customers, while others require a little more persistence on your part.