So, you’re involved in a car crash. What the heck do you do now?
Car accidents can be some of the scariest and most stressful moments for any driver. It’s important that you know to do after a car crash so you can remain calm and collected if you’re involved in one.
Steps to Take After a Car Crash
- First, you want to check for anyone who might have injuries. If there are injured people, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone unless you are specifically trained. Even still, you will probably want to leave that for the paramedics, since you were just in a crash and might not be thinking correctly.
- Stay in control of the scene and make sure you’re visible to oncoming cars and motorcycles by turning on your hazard lights until the police arrive. Once they come they can put out warning triangles and traffic cones to alert oncoming traffic of the accident.
- Next, you’ll have the police file a report of the accident for your insurance company. Retrieve a copy of this report from the police before leaving the scene of the accident. It’s important to keep from admitting responsibility or fault to anyone (other drivers, witnesses, etc.) other than the police or the insurance claim agent. For legal reasons, you know. Be sure to take down the responding officers' names, the names of any witnesses or involved drivers, and the license plates of the damaged vehicles. You'll also want to take photos of any damage.
Next, you'll then need to contact your insurance company and speak with an agent to see what next steps should be taken. They should be able to walk you through insurance basics. Note: you should 100% not be driving without up-to-date car insurance. Driving uninsured is super illegal, and can result in even more trouble and some hefty fines if you're ever in a car accident. So whether you use Geico, Allstate, Esurance, State Farm, or some small mom and pop insurance company as your insurer, you'll want to contact them to let them know about the car accident and file a claim.
The claims process can be different with across various insurance providers and collision coverage levels, which is why it's important to call your agent and find out what steps you need to take after a crash. You'll usually have to pay some kind of deductible up front but could end up getting a reimbursement if you overpay for any reason. These amounts of payment all come down to the type of motorist coverage plan you have and the rates you receive.
Crashes are traumatic for everyone involved. It’s important to stay calm, keep a level head, and be understanding when you’re in this situation.