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Auto Accident

March 16, 2018 | Insurance, Personal

Auto Accident Next Steps

Michael Deranek, CIC

There is never a good time to be in an accident. It interrupts your day and it can be difficult to recover from the shock of what just happened long enough to switch to an efficient “here’s what I do next” mode.


While you might not remember to do each item on this list, the more you can do the better the outcome.


Auto Accident Next Steps:

-Use caution and pull over to the side of the road if possible.


-Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to go around you.


-Call the police, or call 911 directly if there are injuries.   (Though it may seem like a good idea, do not administer first aid or CPR unless you are qualified!)


-Tempers may be hot, but try to stay calm.  Even when someone is at fault, it is almost never intentional… remember it was an ‘accident’ not an ‘on-purpose’.


-Don’t accept responsibility for the accident.   Even if it feels like your fault in the moment there may be other circumstances that are escaping your immediate notice.   It is fine to express concern “Are you OK?”  but steer clear of making apologies.


-Snap some photos with your cell phone.   Note the road & weather conditions, the damage to your vehicle and to any other vehicles involved.


-Gather information on the other parties involved.  The most pertinent information will be insurance ID cards, driver’s license numbers, make and model of the vehicle and their license plate numbers, and phone numbers.  Be careful not to disclose your home address (unless to a police officer) and never give out your social security number.


-If there are witnesses ask for their name and phone number, encourage them to make a statement to the police.


-Report the claim to your insurance carrier as soon as possible.


We remain available during the claims process because relationships matter, especially on the worst days. Once your claim is turned in, it is our sincere hope that your day will get a whole lot better.  We carefully choose the insurance companies we recommend for their excellent claims service.  They are staffed by compassionate experts who have earned our trust.  There’s no need to fear that we will simply hand you over to an 800 number.