When you’ve just been in a car accident, chances are you’re scared and adrenaline has taken your mind and body over completely. Once you’re able to gain any sense of mental acuity, chances are good that you then check to see that you and your passengers are OK, then you check in on the other driver. Regardless of how it happened, you’re probably running through a world of emotions.
Maybe you’re upset because you feel the other driver caused the crash. Maybe you are upset because you think it was your fault. No matter what, the key is to try to stay calm. If no one is seriously injured, then you should attempt to pull yourself together before you approach the other vehicle. You also need to prepare yourself to make two very important phone calls: one to the police and the other to your auto insurance company.
Here’s what else you need to do:
Have Your Insurance Information Ready
You should always keep your car insurance information in at least two places so you’ll have it in the event of an accident. Most people choose their glove box and their wallet. As long as you can reach the glove box after a collision, those are fine choices. Many people also carry an insurance card on their keychain. It should have your policy number, as well as a toll-free, 24-hour a day response phone number to call if you’re in a crash.
Compare auto insurance rates online from competing insurance companies. Simply enter your zip code in on this page to get started right now!
Stay At The Scene Of The Accident
…and notify the authorities first. If it’s a fender bender and you’re on the freeway, it’s usually OK to move the vehicles to the side of the road before the authorities arrive.
Give the other driver your name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information. Make sure you get their information, too. If the other driver’s name doesn’t match the name of the insured, find out what their relationship is, and make note of both of their names and addresses.
Zip Those Lips
Don’t discuss the events of the crash, or admit fault at the scene. Many people are so shaken up after an accident, they immediately think they did something to cause it. Until all versions of the story are known, you can’t even be sure you were at fault, so it’s best just to not say anything.
Take pictures of the damage and make a written documentation of the accident. If there are witnesses, get their names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
File an Accident Report
You may not be able to do this at the scene if the crash was minor and there were no significant injuries. You still should go to the local police station or Department of Motor Vehicles website to report the accident.
It’s important to plan ahead for car accidents, even though (by definition) you don’t plan on having one. Knowing what your car insurance covers and being aware of your deductible will help you be prepared in the event of a car accident.
Save Money on Your Auto Insurance!
This is a lot to remember, but you’ll be glad you got it right if you’re ever in an accident. In the meantime, see if you can have both great auto insurance and save some money on it, too. Enter your zip code in on this page to get started comparing free auto insurance rates today!