Carry an Emergency Kit
Along with your mobile phone, every car and driver should carry an emergency kit which includes pen and paper to take notes and exchange information, a disposable camera to photograph the scene, a card explaining medical conditions or allergies, a flashlight, and contact numbers. In addition, you should have cones, flares, or warning triangles in your trunk.
Stay at the Scene
Check on your passengers and the driver and passengers of the other involved vehicle(s). If the accident is minor, move cars to the roadside and out of traffic. Turn on hazard lights and set out cones, warning triangles or flares. If injuries exist, call for medical attention immediately. Call the police in situations in which major property damage, injuries, or death have occurred.
Exchange Information and Document the Accident
You and the other drivers involved should exchange names, telephone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. In addition, you’ll want the names, address, telephone numbers of passengers and witnesses to the accident. In doing so, you should always be cooperative and polite, but not tell others at the scene that the accident was your fault. You’ll also want to write a description of the cares, as well as the location of the accident and what happened. Take pictures showing the entire scene as well as close-ups of the damages.
File an Accident Report and Inform Your Insurance Company
Even if your accident is minor and there is no need to call a police officer, you should still file an accident report with the police and/or Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, you will want to promptly report the accident to your insurance company telling the details of the accident in order to speed up the claims process. You should be aware of what your insurance covers from towing to repairs to rental cars.
Prepare for Repairs
Once your insurance claim has been filed, your agent can walk you through the repair process, from getting your vehicle to a reliable repair shop, like VMS Auto Collision Center. A trustworthy and reputable repair service will often help you by filing the necessary paperwork to your insurance company to cover your repairs, and in many cases they’ll even arrange to pick up your car and get you in rental car quickly.
Auto accidents can be difficult, emotionally, physically, and financially, but knowing what to do in the aftermath will help get you back on track and on your way safely and securely.