Hope for sunshine, prepare for rain. That’s my motto when it comes to planning for the unexpected – and unfortunate – car accident. And if you don’t have a crystal ball that tells you when an accident will happen, the next best thing is to know what to do afterwards. Because let’s get real, it can happen to anyone, any time, any place. Here’s my advice for what to do after a car accident:
- Check for injuries: Are you and your passengers ok? Check yourselves for bleeding and injuries, did you hurt your neck or back? Try not to move.
- Get to safety: If you can, move your car slowly out of harm’s way to the shoulder of the highway, next to the sidewalk or a parking lot. If you can’t, then try to get yourself and your passengers out of the car and out of harm’s way, by walking away from the accident.
- Call 911: If you are injured you may need to call an ambulance for help. If you are in a serious accident or other people are injured you may also need to call the police so they can document the scene of the accident. Calling the police is also important because their documentation of the accident will help you with any insurance claims.
- Wait for help: Turn off your car’s engine, turn on the hazards and wait for help. This will alert other drivers to slow down.
- Exchange information: Most states require this step, and it will help your insurance company provide you the support you need. Exchange the following contact information with the other driver:
- Full name
- Address and phone
- Insurance company name and policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate
- Vehicle make, model, color
- Accident location, date, time
- Document what happened: For your protection, and to help with the insurance claims process, make sure you get the following information:
- Police report, including names of the officers at the scene
- Take pictures of the accident with your phone
- Names of people involved, including passengers and witnesses
- Your own notes about what happened, road conditions, weather, what the other car was doing, etc.
- Call your insurance company and file a claim: Call your insurance company to get help with next steps, such as having an adjuster inspect your car and filing a claim.
A car accident can be really shocking, and although there is no guarantee that it won’t happen, the next best thing is to know what do do in case of an accident so that you can manage it properly. Find out how Fiesta Auto Insurance can help protect Latinos like you. Drive safe!