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What to Do After a Car Accident

Auto accidents are stressful, and usually unexpected. Even the best drivers can be involved in an accident because of another driver. If you are in an accident, do these things to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible and prevent any injury.

Be Prepared

There are some simple ways to be prepared in advance of an accident. You never know when something may happen, but it’s always good to have a plan and some basic items to help protect yourself.

- Have a good spare tire and the equipment to change a flat. This doesn’t fall under an accident per say, but these items can prevent further costs and issues.

- Flashlights can come in handy in many situations, from looking for something on the floor of your car, to anything that may happen at night. These can be easily kept in a glove box or other storage compartment.

- Keep cones, flares, or warning triangles in your car in case of an accident. Using these helps other drivers keep their distance around your vehicle.

- Make sure you have your car registration and insurance card in your glove compartment. You should also keep any medical information about you and your family here. In case of injury, it will be close at hand.

After an Accident

-Take a deep breath and try to stay as calm as possible. Panic can cause you to make poor decisions and you’ll be less effective at taking the next steps. Check yourself and other passengers for injury. If there is any suspicion of serious injury (especially head and neck injuries), call and ambulance.  

-If you are in a minor accident, such as a fender bender, move both cars to a safer location. It will be easier to exchange insurance information and get police there. If you can help it, try not to block traffic and possibly cause another accident.

-Turn on your hazards, and if you have any caution equipment, utilize it. It can be extremely dangerous if you are on the side of a busy road or highway.

-Always call the police, even if it is a small accident or little damage. They will file a report which the insurance companies will use. This is one of the only ways to verify information. If there is any kind of dispute, a police report can prevent issues.

-If you aren’t injured, make sure to gather information about the accident. This would include pictures of the damaged vehicles, license plate, name and number of all involved, as well as pictures of where the accident happened.

-Never sign any documents unless it is from the police or from your insurance agent.

-Lastly, notify your insurance agent! They can help give advice to whether or not you should pay for the fix yourself if it is a small amount of damage. If needed, they will file the claim for you.

We hope that you are never in an accident; however, the average person files a claim once every 17.9 years. Chances are that some point you will have to file an auto insurance claim. This blog should help you with what you need to do if you are ever in a car accident.