Car Accident Procedure
4 Steps In Dealing With Car Accidents Responsibly

car accident procedure

Understanding the car accident procedure is an important responsibility for every driver, whether you think you'll ever be involved in an accident or not. 

No one intends to get into an auto crash, but it's important to be prepared and know which actions to take should the worst every happen.  

Obviously, getting into a car accident is something that needs to be avoided as much as possible.
   You can improve your chances of road safety by taking a defensive driving course every now and then to brush up on your skills.

However, if unexpected accidents do occur, the most important thing is that injuries are not part of the equation.  There are a lot of fender-benders where no one is hurt but the vehicles are damaged.

Even so, there are a lot of questions and concerns that still need to be considered after a car accident, and the fact that you are not in the best state of mind will not help.

That's why having a checklist of the proper car accident procedure like the one below, reminding you what you should do following an accident, in your glove box will be a great help.

Step 1 - Assess The Degree Of Damage Or Injury

It can be very difficult to keep calm and think clearly in such a stressful situation as a car accident, but it is important that you do stay calm and mentally active.

Avoid panicking; if you panic, other people around you will also panic. As soon as you feel well enough to do so, take stock of your surroundings and the situation at hand.

Begin by examining the degree of damage or injury suffered by yourself and those in your own vehicle.  If you are then able to do so, check on anyone else involved in the collision.  

If emergency medical assistance is necessary, call an ambulance immediately before doing anything else.

If there are no physical injuries, move on to assessing the damage to your vehicles.

Step 2 - File A Report On The Accident

Next, you may have to report the accident to the police.  The car accident procedure for involving the police varies from state to state.

This step is necessary regardless of the extent of damage suffered by your vehicle in many states. Even the slightest dent still calls for an accident report for legal purposes.

Some states, however, have a dollar value attached to this requirement.  For example, in the state of Indiana, if no one is injured and the amount of the damages was less than $1000, reporting to the police is not legally required.

In Ohio, on the other hand, if no one was injured, calling the police is optional.  If you've had a lot of damage, you'd probably we wise to call the police anyway, especially if you were not the at-fault driver.  This could help you in filing your claim if necessary.

Keep in mind, stressful situations such as car accidents sometimes lead to inaccurate and panicked thinking.

Thus, it would be unwise for you to say anything incriminating regarding your own liability. 

Step 3 - Gather The Necessary Information

car accident procedure

After talking to the police, and before leaving the site, obtain all pertinent information, especially names and contact information, of all people involved in the accident.

  1. Name, address, phone numbers of all people involved in the accident
  2. Drivers license number
  3. Insurance company name and policy number
  4. Car make, model, plate number
  5. Name, address, and phone numbers of any witnesses
  6. Names and badge numbers of any police officers on the scene

If you have a camera (even if it is just your cell phone) take pictures of the accident scene area and damages to vehicles from all angles.  These may be critical in helping to prove your claim.

If you have injuries, remember to keep detailed records of all of your injuries, medical visits, related bills, etc., so that you will be able to make full claim for compensation.

Step 4 - Make The Necessary Calls

Eventually, you'll most likely need to call your insurance agent.  If you're going to make a claim against your policy or against the insurance of the other driver,  you'll need to contact the company and report the incident.

Don't delay because there is usually a time limit on filing your claims.  Procrastination can cost you money!  Knowing and implementing the car accident basics can make a significant difference in your outcomes.

The insurance company will need all the relevant details and they will have an adjuster come and assess the damages to your vehicle.  If you have trouble getting fair compensation for your damages and loss, you may need to contact a good car accident lawyer in your area for assistance.

A good accident attorney can deal with all the details of your claim and ensure that it is handled properly and legally, helping you get as much compensation as you deserve and as quickly as possible.

Car Accident Procedure Summarized

Car accidents are especially difficult to deal with. In such situations, it is important to stay calm, alert, and avoid panicking.

Just remember the car accident procedure basics in handling such situations properly so you won't have to deal with unnecessary stress, and you can minimize the damages caused by the accident as much as possible.

Do's:  Stay calm.  Take detailed notes.  Keep records of everything.  Always have an emergency contact person in case of accidents. Get an emergency contact number from your insurance agent or car accident lawyer.

Don'ts: Do not panic. Avoid arguing with the other party in case of a collision with another vehicle.  Don't make any admissions of liability at the scene.

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