Car Accident Checklist: 8 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident by Jeff Arnold
It can happen to anyone – one minute you're driving along and the next minute boom, you've gotten into a car accident. It's a terrible thing that can happen to anyone, and the claims process can sometimes be worse than the damage. I understand the frustrations of working with an insurance company's claims department. It can be long and dragged out, and you sometimes won't hear from them if you don't follow up. Here are eight things you can do to make your life a bit easier when you've gotten into an accident:
- Stay Calm and Check for Injuries: It can be nerve wracking getting into an accident with another vehicle, but you must stay calm and inspect yourself and all passengers for injuries. If there is an injured person, it is safest not to move them.
- Never Admit Fault: No matter whose fault the accident is, do not admit to it. The insurance companies will do a thorough investigation to determine which driver is at fault.
- Take Photos: Make sure to document the damage with clear photos. Take them at the scene of both vehicles.
- Exchange Information: Exchange insurance information with the other driver. Make sure to get their full name; insurance company; policy number; phone number to their agent/company; driver's license; license plate; year, make, model and color of the vehicle; and location of the accident.
- Call the Police: Even if no one is seriously injured, still call the police. You may need a police report and citations may be made.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Carrier: This step is extremely important. Your insurance company can help you contact the other insurance company.
- Follow Up With Your Insurance Company: Make sure to follow up with either insurance company you have been in contact with. Do not let the claim sit. If you haven't heard anything in a few days it does not hurt to call your claims adjuster to discuss status of your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention: If you or any of your passengers were hurt, seek medical attention immediately. Keep records of all receipts and reports.
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