How to handle a car accident

February 08 2018


Hopefully, you'll never have to experience the stress of a car accident. But just in case, these five tips on what to do next can help minimize the hassle of post-wreck repairs and claims.

1. Make sure everyone is okay. If you're hurt, stay in your vehicle and call for assistance. If not, check on your fellow drivers and passengers. Remember: Never move anyone who is seriously injured.

2. Move to safety. If it's safe to do so, take photos of the scene before you move your car. Then, move any drivable vehicles out of the flow of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and set out flares or reflectors to alert your fellow drivers.

3. Exchange information. Once everyone is out of harm's way, exchange insurance info and collect any other pertinent details about the car accident, such as license plate numbers, vehicle makes and models, and witness contact information. Take photos from several angles to capture relevant details, such as location, weather conditions, skid marks, debris and vehicle damage.

4. Contact the authorities and file a report. While you may be tempted to exchange insurance information and drive away, calling an official third-party can be beneficial, especially if you end up in court or in a dispute with your insurance company.

5. File an insurance claim. Failing to notify your insurance provider may violate the terms of your policy and cost you money down the line. Report your accident ASAP.

Remember, the scene of an accident is no place to play the blame game. Make sure everyone is safe and let the authorities sort out the rest.

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