Keeping your wits about you after an accident

Anytime you experience an auto accident it is a traumatic situation.  It happens so suddenly and then you feel like everything is happening at once and you cannot take it all in.  Here are some very important recommendations helpful to anybody who is involved in an auto accident, but remember, above all you must remain calm and focused:

  1. Check for injuries in all vehicles involved and dial 911 for police, fire and ambulance if there are any indications of injuries or fire
  2. Stay with the vehicles until the police arrive.a. A less serious accident rarely requires police on site, but a police report will still need to be filed.
  3. f you are unable to remove your vehicles from the flow of traffic, use hazard lights and flares to alert traffic around you – otherwise move to the safety of the shoulder.
  4. Do not admit fault or require others to admit fault.  This will be determined by the police report and the insurance companies
  5. Since many people have phones with cameras these days, you should take pictures of both vehicles showing the state of damages, take pictures of the insurance card and driver’s license of the other parties and get the other parties phone numbers.  If you do not have a camera, make sure to copy down the driver’s name, driver’s license numbers, insurance policy number, agency phone number, license plate number and driver’s phone number of all other drivers involved in the accident.
  6. If there are any witnesses also get their names and phone numbers
  7. Sketch the accident as best as you can showing the traffic flow on the road and how the cars collided
  8. Most important, do not discuss the accident or sign anything that does not come through your insurance company or a law enforcement officer.  Your insurance company will provide you with legal representation as part of your liability coverage.

This is a lot of stuff to remember, but it is easy to print out or copy and put in your glove box.  It is also part of the accident packets that many insurers provide their clients, however it rarely gets read at the time of the accident.  Take the time to do it correctly and everyone will be safer and your claim will be processed more quickly.