What to Do if You Have a Car Accident

Whether it is a serious accident or just a minor fender bender, car accidents can be jarring. The important thing though is to try to stay as calm as possible and remember these few simple tips. They will help you calm down and give you something to do to take care of the accident quickly and efficiently.

The first thing you should do after the accident happens is to make sure you are in a safe area. If you can and it is safe to do so, you’ll want to move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road or into the closest parking lot. If you’re injured and/or moving your car isn’t possible, you’ll want to make sure your hazard lights are on to warn other drivers around you.

Once it’s safe, you’ll want to stop your vehicle, make sure it isn’t running and make sure it is stationary. If you have road safety items, you’ll want to use them as a means of creating some distance between you and the traffic around you.

Once you’ve made sure that you are safe, check on the other parties involved and make sure there are no injuries. If there are injuries, you’ll want to call 911 as soon as possible to report the accident and get a health care professional to check everyone out. Even a minor symptom like dizziness should be checked to make sure something serious isn’t going on.

Calling 911 will bring police and necessary emergency personnel to the scene. You’ll want to be cooperative with their questions and give them as much detail as possible about the accident without admitting fault or blaming others at the scene. The police will use the information to make an educated judgement based off the accident as well as help you calm down and gather your thoughts to get through the accident as quickly as possible.

It’s important that you also gather all the pertinent information. Cooperate with each other and police to exchange the following information so you can report it to your insurance and have them take care of the details:

  • Driver and passenger names
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance info: company and policy numbers
  • Makes and models of all vehicles involved
  • Contact info for any eyewitnesses
  • Location of the accident
  • The name and badge number of any responding police officers

You’ll also want to take pictures of the scene from all angles and highlight any visible damage from the accident on both cars. This will make working with insurance easier once you file the claim. While at the scene, call your insurance agent or the number provided on your insurance card to report the accident and start the claims process. They will take all the basic details that you have as well as any information you’ve gained so far.

At this point, the insurance usually kicks in to get you home safely and take care of getting you back on the road as soon as possible. Being in a car accident can be shocking to your system, but it doesn’t have to be any more stressful than necessary. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll get through the stress of the accident with relative ease.

This information is brought to you by local State Farm Agent, Ed Underwood. Click here to get a quote or call 615-771-0700 to get information on adding your teen to your insurance plan. Like Ed Underwood on Facebook!