After a collision, you’re probably experiencing a surge of adrenaline, and it can be challenging to think clearly. This is why your insurance company prints instructions for what to do in a car accident on your insurance card. They know that even though many of the steps are logical, the heat of the moment can lead to less-than-ideal decisions.
The most important thing to remember is to make sure you, your loved ones, and anyone involved in or near the accident are safe and free from additional harm.
If you follow these steps, you have a better chance of avoiding further damages while also protecting the integrity of your claim.
Step 1: Remove yourself (and your vehicle) from immediate danger.
The number one priority is safety. Make sure everyone is off the road and in a secure location. If possible, remove the vehicle from the road to avoid creating further hazards. If you cannot move the vehicle, turn on your hazard lights.
Step 2: Contact the police.
Even if the accident is a fender bender, it’s a good idea to phone the police. It’s up to them to decide if they feel it’s necessary to come to the scene to take an accident report. When the officer arrives, document the officer’s name and badge number. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of the report and the report number. You can ask for the report later from the insurance company if you cannot get it at the scene.
Step 3: Collect information and document the scene.
Get the other party’s contact information and insurance credentials. If possible, use your smartphone to take a picture of their driver’s license, insurance card, and the driver’s license plate. If it is safe to do so, take photos of all vehicles involved to document damages. These photos can also be vital in determining fault.
If any witnesses observed the accident, ask for their contact information. This step is especially important if they cannot stay to wait for the police because the police or insurance company can contact them later.
Step 4: Contact your insurance company.
Once you’ve gathered this information, contact your insurance company to relay the details of the situation.
Step 5: Seek medical attention.
Getting your injuries or a loved one’s injuries taken care of is a top priority. If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. You can sort out logistical and details with an attorney after you’ve gotten the necessary medical care.
Step 6. Contact an attorney.
Before negotiating or settling with an insurance company, contact an attorney to find out what your rights are and what your case could be worth.
When you contact the law firm of Bryan Garrett, we will discuss the facts of your case and recommend a course of action to ensure that your best interests are looked after. We strive to help you achieve a better outcome, including appropriate compensation for your injury and any other damages. Contact Bryan Garrett for a complimentary consultation at (405) 369-4498.