For those of us who have been in a car accident, we know it is scary, but knowing what to do afterward is kind of confusing as well. For some, this will be a good reminder of how everything is supposed to go down.

If you haven’t been involved in a car crash before (knock on wood), then this is good prep for you if and when it happens.

What do you do after an accident?

Here is a basic rundown for you:

  1. Get out of harm’s way. You don’t want to make the situation any worse so if it is possible and safe to do so, move your car to the side of the road or other safe location, turn it off, and get out of the vehicle.
  2. Check for injuries. Our cars are just things and can be replaced. The most important thing to do after an accident is to make sure no one is in need of medical attention. If you, any of your passengers, or anyone in the other vehicle(s) need medical attention call 911 to report the accident and tell the dispatcher what you found.
  3. Call the Police. If there were no injuries that you needed to call 911 for, then you will still need to call the police to report the accident. When the police arrive, give them as much detail about what happened as you can. NEVER admit fault to the police or other drivers, let the investigation play out. Only tell them what you know, not any assumptions or guesses as to what happened.
  4. Get a complete record. Do everything you can to paint an exact picture of what happened. Take pictures of all vehicles involved and the accident scene (safely), get names and contact information of any witnesses, write down or record yourself explaining exactly what happened, ask the police how to obtain a copy of the police report.
  5. Exchange insurance information. The easiest thing to do is take a picture with your phone of the¬†front and back of other drivers’ insurance cards. Let them take a picture of your card as well.
  6. Report the incident. If you do not feel like you were at fault, the claim can be filed with the other driver’s insurance company. If you know you are at fault, then you will want to file a claim with your insurance company. Even if you file a claim with the other insurance company you will still want to call your agent and let them know what happened and that you have filed a claim with the other guys.

Being in a car accident is never fun. It can be scary at best, and life-changing at worse. As your insurance advisor, we strive to make sure you have proper coverage in place to protect what’s most important to you.

If you haven’t reviewed your insurance coverages lately, schedule a quick review. It doesn’t have to take long and it will put your mind at ease knowing you have the coverage you need when you need it most.