What are the steps to take after being in a car accident?

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2011

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UPDATED: Jun 6, 2011Fact Checked

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Asked June 6, 2011

1 Answer


The first thing to do is to assess the injuries, if there are any. If there or injuries or significant damage to property, contact 911 immediately. Identify yourself and the situation, and let the dispatcher know how many people are injured and to what extent. If there are only minor damages, you and the other driver may choose to settle the matter between yourselves by exchanging driver and insurance information.

Once you have taken stock of the damages, ask any bystanders if they witnessed the incident. Collect the names and contact information for any witnesses, and look aound for security cameras at commercial businesses which may have captured the accident on video as well. Without corroboration, it could be a matter of your word against the other person, so witness may be crucial to a successful insurance claim.

Call your insurance company and let them know there has been an accident. Some companies will give you instructions on the next step to take or dispatch a mobile damage appraiser to the scene. If you speak to the insurance company before the police arrive, let them know the general extent of the accident and make arrangements for a rental vehicle if it is included in your coverage.

After the accident report has been made, request a copy. In some cases the police officer who fills out the report can give you a cpy on the scene, but other situations may require you to go to the lcal police station to have a copy printed for you. This report will be essential is resolving your claim with the insurance company, and most policies will require the accident report as a matter of course.

Answered June 6, 2011 by Anonymous

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