ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY
TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, MORE
THAN 5.8 MILLION POLICE-REPORTED
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES OCCURRED IN
THE UNITED STATES IN 2008. No matter how
good a driver you are, chances are at some point
in your life you will be involved in an auto accident.
Knowing the steps to take after a collision can help
prevent further injuries, reduce costs and decrease
overall confusion. In the event of an accident, the
following are some important steps you can take:
1. Remain calm. Accidents are usually very
high stress situations. Losing your temper
or getting excited is just going to add to an
already stressful situation.
2. Safety first. Check for injuries. Call or seek
medical attention for those injured if needed.
3. Assess the situation. If there are no major
injuries, move cars out of harm’s way. Leaving
cars parked in the middle of the road or at
a busy intersection could cause additional
accidents. If the cars cannot be moved, remain
in the vehicle with your seatbelt fastened until
help arrives. Turn on hazard lights and set out
cones or flares if possible.
4. Do not discuss the accident. Do not admit
liability or fault. Your insurance company will
investigate your claim as to the determination
of fault, based on interviews and evidence
discovered during their investigation.
5. Contact the police. File a report. By doing
so, you can document the occurrence and
happenings, which could protect you from
liability claims and potential legal action.
6. Exchange information. After the accident,
gather the following information from all parties
involved: name, address, license plate numbers
and insurance identifications.
7. Document the accident. Collect information
as to witnesses of the accident and their names,
addresses and phone numbers. Check over the
vehicles involved and note prior damage that
was not related to this particular accident.
If you have a camera or cell phone on hand
take pictures of the damage.
8. Contact your insurance company.