When you’re in a car accident, whether it’s minor fender-bender or a major collision, it’s very unsettling. You may be disoriented, not sure what to do next. The best way to be prepared for such a moment is to learn the steps that should be taken after an auto accident.
What To Do Right After the Accident
1. If possible, move your car safely to the side of the road or nearby.
Pull off the road if you can and turn on your hazard lights. In some states it’s illegal to move the car at all until the police can review the scene of the accident, so check with your DMV before you are ever in a collision.
2. Turn off the engine and take a deep breath.
Once you’ve turned the engine off, take a moment to get your bearings and try to relax. It’s important to stay calm and level-headed.
3. Set out flares if you have them.
If you carry road safety items, which is always a good idea, use them. Be sure to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car first.
4. Check to see if everyone involved is okay.
If anyone is injured call 911 for emergency assistance.
5. Call the police.
Report the accident to the police even if it’s minor. Be sure not to talk about who’s at fault at the scene. Let the police decide who, if anyone, is to blame.
6. Document the accident.
Take photos of car damage and the scene, and note pertinent information including where passengers were seated. Do a rough drawing indicating the direction of travel. Note the make and model of every car involved, and the location of the accident.
7. Write down pertinent information.
Note the names, license numbers, license plate numbers, auto insurance information, and contact info of the other driver, or drivers. Get contact information from any witnesses, too.
8. File a claim with your insurance company.
Contact your insurance provider and report a claim. There may be an online claims portal for the company, but you can also call.
Once you’ve filed a claim you will have your car repaired. Check with your insurance company to find out what the preferred process is. You may be required to use a particular shop.
Even if you haven’t been actively looking for a new auto insurance carrier, it’s always a good idea to have a periodic look at your options. Einsurance can help. Just use our quote generator and compare your options. You might find great coverage at a better price.