The reasons why car accidents happen are varied, but what you should do immediately following an accident applies to all situations. It is important to know before you get into an accident what to do, so that you can remember if you ever need to. This checklist will help you know the steps to take after a car accident.
Assess the Extent of Damage or Injuries – As best you can, try to stay calm. Don’t panic, it will make the situation worse. Try to determine the extent of damage and see if there are any injuries that need immediate medical attention. Call 911.
Make Sure You File a Car Accident Report with the Police – It is important to have a legal accident report even if the accident is minor. Do not leave the scene until the police file a full report. In some cases, you can get into legal trouble for leaving the scene of an accident.
Record the Accident Facts – It is vital to get all the facts – names, address, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. Make sure you get a description of the car and license plate number. Ask for the contact information for the insurance company and the vehicle identification number of all the people involved in the accident.
Call Your Insurance Agent – Call your insurance agent or insurance company’s 800-number immediately, even at the scene. It is most helpful to do this with the police if at all possible. Often times the police officer can provide more accurate information. This will expedite the filing of your claim.