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Having an auto accident or dealing with a catastrophe is stressful, yet it’s important to try to stay calm and focused.
1. Safety First
- If the car accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place.
- Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights.
- Use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added safety, if you have them.
2. Get Help
- Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who’s at fault.
3. Collect Information
- Gather information from others involved in the accident.
- Drivers and passengers: names and contact information.
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year).
- Driver’s license numbers – License plate numbers.
- Insurance companies and policy numbers.
- Eyewitnesses: names and contact information.
- Accident scene location and/or address.
- Police officer’s name and badge number.
- Take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene, if it is safe to do so.
- Do not sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
- Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
4. Get Roadside Assistance/A tow-If applicable(I.E. If the vehicle isn’t drive-able or your afraid to drive the vehicle)
- If your vehicle isn’t drive-able after an accident, learn about roadside assistance and request roadside service from your insurance company, AAA, or any local tow company.
- They can tow your vehicle to your home for the time being or to the bodyshop of your choice is you already have one in mind.
5. Ok I’m ready to start the repair process, whats next?
- Now your ready to get the ball rolling on your vehicle’s repairs, its time to ask yourself the big question; “Am I going through insurance or should i pay out of pocket?”.