What to Do After a Car Accident: A Smart Driver’s Checklist

Oct 20, 09 • blogNo CommentsRead More »

Being involved in a car accident of any kind is a terrifying experience, and one that takes a long time to recuperate from mentally or physically, or even both. Smart drivers, both male and female, will keep a printed checklist in their glove compartments that delineates the steps that should be taken immediately following an accident. Here are some elements that should be on everyone’s checklist.

Be prepared ahead of time: A good driver should be prepared for any eventuality ahead of time, even an accident. Make sure that your cell phone has your emergency contacts listed under ICE (In Case of Emergency) in case you get in an accident. Choose a good auto body shop ahead of time so that you will have someone to call should something happen.

Stay calm: This first step is definitely the hardest, but it’s essential to your making intelligent decisions and acting rationally from here on out.

Call the police right away: You always want to have the law on the scene as soon as possible to resolve any problems, for traffic control, and to collect evidence if necessary. If injuries are involved, call 9-1-1.

Collect as much information as possible: Get the names and addresses of all involved parties including drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Record license plate numbers as well as the makes and models of involved automobiles and insurance information, if available. Take your own photos if possible from every angle: both long shots as well as close-ups. The ready availability of cell phone cameras now makes this step much easier.

Do not talk about whom was at fault: If your accident results in a court case, anything you say about liability may be held against you. Focus on what’s most important right now: everyone’s health and well-being, and getting the vehicles taken care of.

Call your insurance agent, and then your loved ones: You always want to get your insurance agent going on your case as soon as possible. He may even want to come down to the scene, and he will give you good, measured advice on how to proceed. Only call your loved ones after all other steps are taken care of first.

Contact your auto body repair shop: The shop may arrange a tow or you may be able to get your vehicle there yourself, but either way you need to contact them so that they can be ready for you.  You need to trust who will get you the quick service and repairs you need if you are ever in an accident.

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