You Just Got into an Accident…Now What?
Refer to your accident action plan. Don’t have one, then just simply create one with the action plan steps below! It may sound funny now, but it will be handy should you ever need to use it.
1. Emergency Kit – This kit should consist of a cell phone, diaposable camera, pen, paper and the instruction below. Simple, right?! You should also keep information about yourself should you have any special medical needs such as allergies or medical conditions in case any serious injuries occur and the emergency medical team can act fast. If you would like to purchase a pre-made emergency kit, DocuDent™ Auto Accident Kit is supported by AAA and insurance companies.
2. Safety First – If a minor accident with no injuries has occurred, then it is advised to move the vehicles to the side of the road to keep out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars in traffic can lead to additional accidents. If the vehicle(s) cannot be moved, immediately turn on hazard lights or find ways to let other drivers know to avoid that area. If you stay in your car, make sure you wear your seatbelt for safety until help arrives.
3. Exchange Information – Regardless if the police are on the scene or not, you should personally get pertinant information with the other driver involved in the accident. Information needed: driver’s name, address, phone number(s), insurance company, policy number, drivers license number, license plate number, make/model/year/color of vehicle, vehicle identification number and registration number. If the driver’s name is different from what is listed on the insurance card, establish the relationship and get the information for each individual.
4. Photograph and Note the Accident – Put your disposable camera located in your emergency kit or your cell phone camera to use! Take pictures of the accident and damage done. You want to tell the story, ie whose fault it is, of the accident in case it ends up in court. If witnesses were present, get their contact information as they may be able to help you should you need to verify or dispute events of the accident.
5. File an Accident Report with the Police – Depending on the severity or non-severity of the accident, the police may or may not show up. If not, contact the police department as soon as possible and report the accident. Some police departments offer reports via the internet, but if not just call it in. This will be helpful when you submit your insurance claim as well as most insurance companies require a police report.
6. Know What Your Insurance Covers – Re-familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. You don’t want to be caught off guard when your car goes into the shop thinking your insurance covers a rental car only to find out it doesn’t. Towing and rental cars may be something that is important to you to have so you may want to check quotes on adding it to your policy if you don’t already.
Should you ever find yourself in accident, and we really hope that you don’t, be prepared with your Accident Emergeny Kit. Safe driving out there Cincinnati! If you have any tips to get you through an accident you’d like to share please comment below or write on our Facebook wall.