What to Do After a Car Accident

<img style="margin: 5px; width: 250px; float: right;" alt="orangesky3.jpg" src="” />According to a report entitled “Traffic Safety Facts” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5.5 million vehicle crashes occurred in the United States in 2010 alone. Here at the office of the Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency, we frequently get calls from clients who have just had an accident with their vehicle. 

Those accidents, no matter how minor, tend to be unnerving to all of those involved. To help serve you, here are some frequently asked questions that will help you be prepared when the unexpected happens to you.

What should I carry in my car in the case of an accident?

 Your insurance information
 Pen and paper (for exchanging information with the other driver)
 Mobile phone with the capability of taking photos or a disposable camera
 List of emergency contact numbers
 List of critical medical information in case the accident renders you unconscious

I have just been rear-ended. What should I do first?

 Get a good look at the other vehicle involved. Make a clear mental note of the make, model, color and license plate number of the other vehicle. In case the other driver decides to flee the scene, this information will be helpful in possibly locating him or her.

 Turn on your hazard lights.

 Assess whether any of the person’s involved in the accident have any injuries.

 Call the police, even if it is only a minor fender bender. A police report helps an insurance company to determine who will be responsible for paying the damages.

What points should I remember when talking with the other driver?

 Simply ask if the other driver is okay and exchange pertinent information with the driver. Do not sign any papers unless they are handed to you by the police officer.

 Do not admit fault or say “I’m sorry” in the course of your conversation with the other driver, as that may be used against you in court.

 This is the type of information that your insurance company will need about the other driver:
 Name
 Address
 Phone number
 Email address
 Make, model and year of the car
 License plate number
 Insurance company
 Insurance policy number
 If the name on the registration is different that the name of the driver, record the relationship between the two people.

The police have been called, the injured have been attended to and the other driver and I have exchanged information, what should I do now?

 Identify any witnesses and get their names and phone numbers.

 As long as you can do so safely without walking into the line of oncoming traffic, take photos of the vehicles and document any cuts or bruises of the drivers and passengers.

What other information will your representative at the Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency need to know about the accident?

 Time of accident
 How the accident occurred
 Location of accident (city or jurisdiction and streets)
 How many vehicles were involved
 Description of the damage to each vehicle

 Were the police called?
 Was a police report filed?
 Name of responding police officer
 Badge number of police officer

Until you have gathered the above information, it is premature to call your insurance agency, as they will not have enough information to move forward on assisting you with a claim.

Should a vehicle accident happen to you, hopefully, the above pointers will help you to handle the situation with a greater sense of calm.

As always, remember that the Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency is your source of Trusted Advice ~ Reliable Solutions.