Have you ever been in an auto accident? Most of us have – or will be. Statistically, it’s almost inevitable. Depending on your information source, the average person will be involved in an auto accident every seven to ten years.
Having your car damaged, and then dealing with a body shop, insurance company, a car rental company and others can be a confusing and stressful time. Some of this information may help make that time a little less stressful.
If you are involved in an accident, here are some things you may want to consider doing. Keep in mind that many of these suggestions are required by state law:
Check to ensure that you are not injured. If you are uninjured, check others in your car to make sure they are uninjured. Then, check with any other involved parties.
If anyone is injured, or the nature of the accident dictates it, immediately call 911. If required and appropriate, render first aid.
Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible.
Exchange information with other involved parties. This includes name, address, phone number, vehicle license plate number, driver’s license number and the name of the insurance company and contact.
Secure names and contact information from any witnesses.
If you have a camera handy (remember that your cell phone may include a camera), photograph the scene of the accident and the condition of all vehicles and property involved.
Make a record of the accident for yourself including time, location, weather conditions, traffic conditions and a brief description of the accident.
Describe the accident to proper authorities exactly as it occurred.
Contact your insurance company. They may be able to provide other valuable information and may ask for additional information from you such as a copy of the police report.
Don’t leave the scene of an accident without first securing information from other parties involved.
Don’t discuss any personal information regarding your physical condition or mental frame of mind.