When you’re involved in a car accident it can be difficult to think straight at first. Take a moment to make sure you’re okay, then begin with these five simple steps to start setting your life back in order.
Call the Police
Check with bystanders and make sure the police have been notified. Once they are on the scene the police can redirect traffic around your accident and make sure everyone who is injured is cared for. The police will also make a thorough report of the accident and interview witnesses, which will be more important to you as you begin talking with insurance companies regarding claims.
Find a Safe Place to Wait
If you are able to get out of your vehicle comfortably, move to the side of the road as quickly as possible. The last thing you need to worry about is becoming injured by someone who is so busy looking at the tangled cars that they don’t notice the people standing near the cars. Once the police arrive it will be safer for you to go back to your vehicle to retrieve personal items or anything else you need to do.
Exchange Insurance Information
Contact the drivers of any other cars that were involved in the accident. No matter who you think was at fault, everyone should exchange insurance information. Your insurance company will ask you for this information as they begin to build a case for the accident.
Take Plenty of Pictures
When it is safe to approach your vehicle, take as many pictures as possible from all different angles. Smartphone cameras make it easy to snap good quality images that will serve as evidence of vehicle damage and the positioning of the vehicles when they came to a stop. These photos will also help you remember what happened when it is time to talk to your insurance company.
Call Your Insurance Company
Finally, call your insurance agent and tell them you’ve been involved in an accident. They will ask you some questions about the accident and about the other driver’s insurance information. The insurance company will begin to contact everyone involved in the accident, so your claim can be settled as quickly as possible. If your claim involves injuries or other complications, it might be good to go over the details with a lawyer to make sure you are taking all the right actions.
Take care of yourself first, then call the police, then contact your insurance company. Whether you’re involved in a simple fender bender or something more serious, these five steps will get you moving in the right direction again.
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Jenn Montgomery is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger based in San Diego. She writes on a variety of topics and enjoys learning new things. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Rhetoric and Writing Studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and knitting. You can contact her on Twitter.