You just had a car accident, what now?
Car accidents, even just fenders, are an unfortunate fact. When you are in a car accident, you want to be prepared, regardless of whether you caused the collision or not. Preparations will help you protect your ability to make a car insurance claim against a driver who is wrong, and also protect you if another driver wrongly accuses you of the accident.
Here̵7;s what to do in this stressful situation, including how to prepare for dealing with rescue workers, injuries, other drivers and insurance companies. If you have any questions, contact our office at 413.475.7283 or fill out our quote form online today!
What to do immediately after a collision
The first thing you should do, if possible, is to tow your car to a safe and well-lit place nearby, preferably a public place where others can see both you and the other driver. If your car can cause a road hazard, you want to move it, even to a sidewalk. Stay calm and use emergency turn signals to warn oncoming cars. If you can not move your car, take yourself and any passengers at a safe distance from the collision. However, you want to make sure that you do not leave the place.
Safe children, pets, the elderly and the disabled
If this is a fender or a minor collision, do not leave small children, pets, disabled adults or non-mobile elderly people in a hot, locked car after the accident. Do not leave the engine switched off with them in a hot car while handling the accident details.
If children traveling with you during the accident are young enough to sit in car seats, do not remove them from the car seats after the accident. They may have damage that you cannot see, so have a first-time rescuer remove them from their car seats to assess them for damage.
Make sure that other children stay in the car when it is safe, so that they are not injured. Do the same for non-mobile elderly or otherwise disabled people traveling with you, even if they are scared or upset.
Call an ambulance or police
When you and your vehicle are in a safe place, check if you or someone in your vehicle was injured at the time of the accident. Call a rescue service or ambulance if someone shows minor damage from the accident. When calling 911, ask someone nearby to give you the location of the accident if you do not know exactly where you are.
In addition to your name and other identifying information they request, prepare to enter the city, street name and house number you are closest to, landmarks and traffic signs or signals, directions and what you think will help them find you quickly and easily. Do not hang up until the sender says you can.
Talk to the other driver
Decide that you are safe when talking to the other driver, and if you can do it calmly, without the help of the police. If there are any signs that road rage may have played a role in the accident, be extra careful when talking to the other driver. When talking to others, stick to the facts. Do not discuss who was at fault or how much insurance you have with other drivers.
Even if it is appropriate to small talk while waiting for the police, refrain from admitting or saying that you are sorry, even when you feel you are wrong. Avoid expressing anger at the other driver. Do not blame the accident on another driver on the spot or take the blame from another driver or witnesses on the spot. It is best to avoid discussions about who is at fault at the scene of the accident. It is up to the insurance companies to decide.
Gather the right information
You should always have important information in your car, such as registration, insurance certificate and the name and telephone number of your insurer. It is also a good idea to bring important medical information, such as known allergies and the name of your doctor. Have similar information for loved ones and pets on hand or easily accessible.
Only exchange insurance and contact information. This prevents you from saying something that can get used to you later. Here is a list of what you should collect for insurance claims:
Name and contact information
Insurance company and insurance number
Driver’s license and registration number
Type, color and model of vehicle
Place of the accident
Be sure to take pictures or videos of any damage to both cars, talk to witnesses, write down everything you can remember about what happened, or even record with audio or video details. Also document damage, road and weather and everything else you think contributed to the accident. If you have a mobile device, notebooks or insurance companies’ mobile apps can be helpful in documenting accident details. If you have a mobile device, download and configure your insurer’s mobile app before any collision occurs to speed up the claims process.
Save later bills and records from the accident, as you may need them for claim or court.
Start a car insurance
It is important to contact the Encharter insurance provider as soon as possible. This will help speed up the claim process and we may be able to help you with other services that may be included in your policy.
Use our car accident reporting checklist after an accident to gather important information: https://www.encharter.com/media/Auto-Accident-Reporting-Form.pdf At Encharter Insurance, your road safety is very important to us. Call us at (413) 549-4971 or visit our website at www.encharter.com to discuss your car insurance needs. We can offer coverage from many insurance companies so you get the insurance for your budget and your needs!
Chat with an Encharter agent about your insurance today:
Fill in our quotation form online