While everyone hopes that it won't happen, sometimes it does...a car accident. In the event that you or a loved one is involved in accident, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
1. KEEP AN EMERGENY KIT IN YOUR CAR - Pen/paper, disposable camera, a list of emergency contacts, and a list of any medical allergies.
2. KEEP SAFETY FIRST - If you are involved in a minor accident with no serious injuries, you should attempt to move the vehicle to the side of the road and away from oncoming traffic. If the car cannot be moved, stay in the vehicle until help arrives. It is best to turn on your hazard lights in either scenario.
3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION - After an accident occurs, it is very important to exchange information with the other driver(s). Be sure to write down their name, address, phone number(s), vehicle year/make/model/color, license plate number, and insurance information. Additionally, it is always a good idea to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all passangers and any witnesses. Try to stay as calm and focused as possible. Do not admit to fault, it is up to the insurance company to make that determination.
4. PHOTOGRAPH & DOCUMENT ACCIDENT SCENE - Use a camera to document damage to all vehicles involved. Keep in mind that your photos should show the overall context of the accident.
5. FILE AN ACCIDENT REPORT - An accident report is often required when filing a claim through insurance. If law enforcement does not respond to the scene, it is very important that you go to the closest police station and file this report.
6. CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER - As soon as possible (and after you get a police report) you should contact your insurance company to inform them of your accident. Be sure to have all pertinent information with regard to the accident in front of you when you call.