A car accident is always traumatic for any driver. Even if the damages are relatively minor, and both parties are uninjured, you might find yourself panicking over what to do next. There are important steps to take following any crash, no matter how severe.
Since car accidents involve insurance companies, both drivers need to collect the necessary information. They can do this by following six basic steps.
1. The most important thing is to stay calm at all times. Letting emotions get out of control will only make the situation worse, and make it harder to take care of the things that need to be done.
2. After remaining in control, the driver must make sure that they and their passenger(s) are okay and unharmed. Although it is important to move as far off the road as possible, it is also important if not more so to remain at the scene of the accident. If the driver or one of the passengers can do so, wave oncoming traffic into the other lane or warn traffic with hazard lights and flares, if available.
3. Alert the appropriate authorities by calling 911 right away. If a cell phone isn’t readily available, flag down a passing car and ask them to call.
4. The driver must contact their insurance company regardless of whether they were at fault. The sooner the insurance company knows, the sooner they can start working to resolve the claim. Both drivers should call their respective companies and report the accident, even if one of them was at fault.
5. For legal reasons, the driver must not admit fault to anyone. All those involved with the accident should only talk about it with the police and their insurance companies.
6. Finally, collect the information from all parties, which means that each driver must collect information from any witnesses. Most importantly, each driver should get the name of the other’s insurance company and their policy number.