We prepare for a lot of things in advance: our first day at a new job, a big move, layoffs, and even critical illness. However, many drivers never plan to be involved in or prepare for a motor vehicle collision despite the alarming likelihood that they will be involved in a collision at some point in their lives. The team at Andreotti Insurance knows that prepared drivers are confident drivers, so we’d like to share a step-by-step guide detailing what to do after an accident.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
As soon as everybody is safe, call 911 to report the accident. If there are injuries, be sure to mention that on the call. Do everything the dispatcher asks you to do as you await the arrival of law enforcement on the scene.
Let Your Agent Know You’ve Been in an Accident
It’s not always practical to call your agent right away, but when it is, you should. Your agent can help you stay calm and avoid making some of the most common mistakes drivers make after an accident, like admitting guilt or letting the other driver go without filing a police report. He or she can also provide clear instructions if you aren’t sure what to do.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
The most important details of the accident are only readily available during and immediately after the accident, so failing to document during this critical timeframe can leave you missing key details that you’ll need later. The most important things to focus on documenting include:
- the details leading up and during the accident: how it happened, what factors contributed, etc.
- the names and contact information of those who were either involved in the accident as drivers or passengers or those who witnessed the accident
- insurance information for any other parties involved – drivers or property owners
- photographs of the aftermath: the final resting position of each vehicle involved, photos of the scene of the accident, detailed pictures of damage to property, etc.
Share all of this information with your agent once you’re home and safe.
Refrain from Oversharing
It’s easy to overshare when your emotions are on high following even a minor accident, but oversharing, discussing the accident with other parties, and admitting fault (even if you really believe it was your fault) can harm you in the long run. Instead, focus on being polite and courteous, gathering information, and ensuring the safety of those at the scene.
Cooperate with Law Enforcement
Once a police officer arrives at the scene, answer their questions as accurately as possible without admitting fault. Provide any documentation they request like insurance cards, your drivers license, and your vehicle registration card. Ask for a copy of the police report if possible, as it may be helpful when you schedule vehicle repairs.
Once you get through the immediate aftermath, your insurance agent can assist you with filing a claim, getting any damage repaired, and tending to any non-urgent medical needs if they exist.
To learn more about your auto insurance coverage options, request a free quote online at Andreotti Insurance today!