What to do in an Accident


What to Do if You Have a Car Accident 
 
No matter how safe a driver you may be, accidents can happen. Knowing what to do can help keep you from panicking and making a bad situation worse. Unfortunately, we've dealt with 
 
1. Keep the accident from getting worse. Stay calm. If you can move the car, move to the shoulder or median away from traffic. Turn on your flashers. DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE. 

2. Assess the drivers and passengers and call an ambulance if needed. This is not the moment to get sucked into a conversation about how the accident happened or who was at fault. It happened, and now the goal is to make sure everyone is ok. 
 
3.  Call the police. Always call so there is an accident report on file. Memories can and do change, and although someone may be tempted to deal with it on their own, it's not a good idea. Get it documented. 
 
4. Exchange information. The police can help with this, but make sure you have the name, address, license number, phone number, registration and insurance information of all parties involved. If there are witnesses, it's not a bad idea to get their contact information as well. 
 
5. Take photos. Yes, the police will take care of it, but often the insurance companies will want as much information as you can give them. Capture skid marks, close up shots of any and all damage, road conditions, and anything else that either contributed to or was a result of the accident. 
 
6. See your doctor. Even if you weren't seriously hurt and didn't need an ambulance, injuries from accidents don't always present immediately. Get checked over and don't wait if you have any symptoms that don't feel right. 
 
7. Notify your insurance. They will most likely request a copy of the accident report, as well as your own account. They may want your photos, or they may want to send someone out to take additional photos. If you had a carseat in the car, it needs to be replaced, even if the child wasn't in the seat at the time. Although I haven't experienced it, I have heard that some insurance companies claim that if the child wasn't in the seat or the air bags didn't deploy it is ok to use the seat. Make sure you check your car seat manual and send them the information from the manufacturer. 
 
8. Let the professionals handle it. If you are approached by the other party's insurance company, wanting you to give a statement, sign a document, or accept a settlement, refer them to your insurance company. The insurance companies are able to handle these things between themselves, and even if you think you're just helping out, you may be causing more trouble. 

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