One of the primary concerns while operating a heavy motor vehicle is the chance of a car accident. Even the smallest accidents can be scary. Even the slightest dent in a rear bumper could be an expensive fix. The good news is auto insurance is all drivers in the United States are required to have auto insurance so that one bad accident will not negatively impact your financial stability. Some insurance companies will offer accident forgiveness because after all, an accident can happen to anybody at the most inopportune time.
Say you got in your first car accident, and you do not know who to call first. Do I call my car insurance agent? The police? My parents?
Immediately following a car accident, consider following these steps:
1) Check yourself and others for injuries
If you are hurt after an accident and do not feel like you can move, call 911, and remain still. If you can walk away from your vehicle unharmed, check on any other passengers in your vehicle. If you can safely make it over to the other vehicle(s) involved in the crash, check on them as well.
2) Move away from the scene of an accident
If you are not seriously injured and the other people involved in the crash are okay, move far away from the scene of the accident. There could be glass and other sharp objects on the road and to be on the safe side, assume that a car could shoot up in flames at any moment.
3) Wait for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene
While you are waiting for emergency personnel to clean up the accident, try and warn oncoming drivers to slow down and steer clear of the debris.
Now it is time to get the story straight with the cops and collect information to send to your insurance agent. Most insurance agencies want you to call and alert them to an auto accident without delay. If you are ever involved in an auto accident, plan to call them while you are at the location of the crash. This is especially true when multiple cars and people are involved. Here is the information you want to collect from the other drivers:
- Full name and phone number
- Insurance provider and policy number
- License number
- License plate number(s) x`
- Description of the vehicle(s)
- Location of the crash
Other information to collect:
- Badge number of any officers who helped you.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report.
- Take detailed pictures of the location of the accident.
Capture every angle of the damage done to your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Consider taking a picture of the other license plate(s) in case you forget the number later.
4) Collect contact information from witnesses.
If you noticed someone that witnessed the accident, ask them if they would be willing to testify in your defense if you are asked to appear before a judge at a later date.