Five Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Few of us think about what we should do if we get into an accident until we’re actually in one. But reading an article like this one – when you aren’t feeling stressed and frazzled – can allow you to brush up on the steps to take after an accident and make those post-accident moments a little easier.

  1. Safety first. If the accident is minor, move your vehicle out of traffic, shift into park and turn it off. Use your hazard lights, cones, warning triangles and/or flares to ensure your car is visible. If the accident is more serious and you or any passengers are injured, you may not be able to move the car to the side of the road or exit the vehicle. Stay in your car, but turn off the engine and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Call 911. Even seemingly minor injuries should be checked out by a health professional. And a police accident report will make the insurance claim process a lot smoother and help when you’re dealing with other drivers. Cooperate with the police, but don’t rush to admit fault or blame others. Let the police do their job and determine who, if anyone, is at fault.
  3. Gather information. You’ll want to collect details from everyone involved in the accident and take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene. Here are some specifics to remember:
    • Driver and passenger names and contact details
    • Make, model and year of each vehicle
    • Driver’s license numbers
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance providers and policy numbers
    • Names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
    • Location and/or address of the accident
    • Police officer’s name and badge number
    • Photos to document the scene and vehicle damage
  4. Contact your insurance company. You can even start your claim online at the scene and add details once you have a chance to catch your breath. Your insurance agent will be able to help you understand your coverage and immediate options. If your car isn’t safe to drive, find out if they will provide towing, a rental and other assistance.
  5. Give us a call at Ric’s. We understand that getting into an accident is stressful enough, which is why we make getting back on the road as painless as possible. We’ll even help arrange transportation and work through any issues with your insurance company. If your insurance company tries to steer you towards their “preferred” shop, check the shop’s reviews on Yelp, Google and Facebook.Come by Ric’s for a free estimate — no appointment needed. We’ll examine your car and provide a detailed assessment of the cost to repair and send the estimate to your insurance company with photos if necessary.

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