What to Do after an Auto Accident
It happens! Even the most prepared drivers run into problems, now and then. The most important thing is don’t panic, and make sure everyone is safe. Be prepared with a car emergency kit, including a First Aid Kit, blanket, flares, flashlight, and a phone camera, if you have one.
Keep these important tips handy, so you know the right steps to take after an accident:
At the Scene of an Accident:
- Call 911 if anyone needs medical assistance.
- Call the police. They will know if an officer needs to visit the scene.
- If necessary, move your car to a safe place, but don’t leave the scene of the accident. The police may want you to leave the car where it is, if there is significant damage.
- Stay calm and courteous. Do not admit fault or talk about the accident with anyone except the police.
- Complete the below checklist and use your camera (if available) to take photos of the scene and any damage.
After the Accident:
- If fault is not a question, report the accident to the at fault party’s insurance company. You should only have to notify the other party’s insurer of your damages and injuries. If you are liable and it is after business hours, call your insurance company directly to report the claim. (Kinney Pike has a list of insurance carriers’ claims reporting phone numbers at kinneypike.com/claims-reporting.)
Accident Checklist (some of this may be on Police Report, if the police are called)
√ Other cars’ year/make model
√ Other cars’ license plate number
√ Other drivers’ names and license numbers
√ Other drivers’ insurance companies and policy numbers
√ Other drivers’ phone numbers
√ Your passengers’ names and phone numbers
√ Witnesses names and phone numbers
√ Police officer name and department
√ Tow company name and phone number
√ Notes or a sketch about how the accident happened