The First 5 Things to Do After an Auto Accident
An automobile accident can be the start of a long, complicated and perhaps frustrating process. There may be citations, insurance claims, bodywork, and even potential legal issues. That’s why the steps you take immediately following an accident are so important.
- Assess Injuries
The first thing to do is check on the well-being of yourself, those in your vehicle and that of any others involved. If needed, get medical assistance on the scene as soon as possible. Keep in mind injuries that result from the jarring of a collision may take days to manifest themselves into stiffness or soreness. Get medical assistance or a check-up as soon as possible.
- Contact Authorities
Virtually all states require that a police report be made aware If an accident involves injuries and/or damages. The police may cite the at-fault party and will document many of the basic conditions surrounding the incident. That report can be key in any insurance claim and/or legal action.
- Document the Scene and Get Witness Information
Take photographs of all vehicles involved and the damage that occurred. It may also be helpful to get images of the area surrounding the accident, like traffic lights, signs and road markings. Get the names and contact information of those involved and any witnesses who may have seen the incident.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Even if you don’t believe you will be filing a claim with your insurance company, you should let them know of the accident. Make them aware that at this point you are not filing a claim. There could be issues in the weeks or months ahead where they may have to become involved. Letting them know will cover all your bases.
- Maintain a Journal
Keeping a journal can be very valuable, especially if there should be any litigation following your auto accident. Document how you are feeling physically and mentally, any treatments you receive and any expenses you may incur due to the accident. List any days you had to take off work due to doctors’ appointments, automobile repair work or other accident-related issues.
The best time to prepare for an accident is before it occurs. Will you have the right coverage? Will a policy pay for a rental car? Are your limits high enough for today’s litigious society? Contact one of our independent agents for a no-cost, no-obligation automobile insurance review. As independent agents, we may just be able to save you on your insurance premiums. Find out by contacting us today.