What to Do After an Auto Accident
After getting into a car accident, it’s hard to think straight, shock and panic start to set in, and adrenaline levels increases. The hardest part to remember is to try to stay calm, call 9-1-1 (especially if there are injuries), and try to keep your vehicle exactly as it is at the accident scene. If the vehicle is blocking traffic and can be moved, be sure to take sufficient photos before doing so. In most states, it is required by law to report the accident to local authorities. This is especially important if anyone is injured or there is significant damage. Insurance companies will need a police report for the claim. Simply exchanging names and phone numbers with the other involved drivers isn’t sufficient enough or wise. Once you realize you’re alright and can start to function, follow these guidelines to help you through this traumatic experience.
Four Things to Do After an Auto Accident
Take Photos for Proof.
You should take photos of any damage to vehicles and/or property. This includes every vehicle involved and any nearby property that was damaged during the accident. Take photos of the accident scene. You will want to document road conditions, skid marks, debris on the road, and vehicle positions (if vehicles need to be moved, try to do this first and efficiently). You will also want to snap a photo of location identifiers such as street signs, intersections, address or freeway exit. Also, get clear photos of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates, and anything else you think is pertinent to document.
Exchange information with those involved and potential witnesses. Get full names, contact numbers, addresses, and email addresses from all people involved in the accident and from any potential witnesses. You should also exchange insurance information with those involved – get the insurance company name, policy number, and phone number. Documenting emergency services info is also a wise idea – police department name, officer’s name and badge number, phone number for the station, and police report number. You should get this information from any emergency responder, including ambulance and fire department. You never know what information you’ll need.
Do Not Discuss Fault of the Auto Accident.
Arguments may ensue with emotions and adrenaline high, so it’s best to remain calm and not point fingers. The responding officer will get statements from the drivers of the auto accident and any witnesses. The facts and laws will determine who is at fault. The police, or in some cases an attorney, will decide.
Report to Insurance Company and Contact Local Auto Body Shop.
You will need most of the information you’ve gathered and documented for your insurance company. If repairs are necessary, your insurance company may need to perform an inspection and will recommend auto body shops. You don’t have to use the shops they recommend but be sure to do your research. Make sure the shop will work with your insurance company.
Visit John Chevalier Collision Centerz for your auto body repair estimate. We will fix your auto accident repairs and get you back behind the wheel of your vehicle in no time.