Although car accidents tend to happen more often in the colder months, what you need to do after an accident never changes. Of course, most people can’t think clearly directly after getting into a bump-up; therefore it’s important to already know what to do before you get into an accident.
Find out who and what has been damaged or injured. Try to be calm. If you’re panicking, it will only make the situation worse. There needs to be a calm person to determine the extent of damage and to determine if there are any injuries that need immediate medical attention. If there are injured people, obviously the first step is to call an ambulance.
Call the police and file a car accident report. If everyone is okay, the next place to call is the police. Even in a minor accident, it’s important to make sure there is a legal accident report. Do not leave the scene until the police file a full report!
Tell the police about the car accident. It will be difficult to know for sure what happened and even more difficult to not talk about it, but it’s important to limit your discussion of the accident with the others involved and not to admit any fault or liability. You should talk about the accident with the police and your insurance agent only.
Get the facts. It’s important to get names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. A description of the car and license plate number can also be helpful, but make sure you also get their insurance company and the vehicle identification number of their car. Never assume the license plate number will do, because most insurance companies only record the type of car and the vehicle identification number, not the license plate number.
Call your insurance. Call them immediately! If you can call them at the scene while the police are there, even better: sometimes the police officer can give your insurance company more accurate information instead of yourself – you may be too shaken up by the accident. This can save you a lot of time later waiting for your claim to be processed.
It may be a good idea to print this list and keep in inside your car for emergencies. We hope you never have to use it, but it's good to be prepared.
The Dennis Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agent in the Lutz, Florida area. To find out more about auto insurance, contact them today.