No one ever expects to get into a car accident. It’s surely not a warm and fuzzy moment and it can leave you a bit scattered. From all of us at Advanced Collision, here is our seven-step accident guide to help you through this stressful ordeal.
Move to a safe area, if possible
If it’s safe to do so and you aren’t seriously injured, move your vehicle out of further harm’s way. If moving your car just isn’t possible, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere soon.
Stop your car and exit the vehicle
First, make sure that your car is no longer moving. Shift it into park or set the hand brake if you have a manual transmission. Take a moment to catch your breath and then check to make certain that it’s safe to get out of your car. If you have flares or similar road safety items, this is the time to use them.
Check on others involved
Check on all of the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured. A seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be treated by a healthcare professional.
Call the police
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine if anyone is at fault. If the police can’t make it to the accident scene, you need to file an accident report with your DMV.
Try to write down as much information as you can after the accident. Including:
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information from all parties involved
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Location of the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
Document the scene
If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene. In many cases they will be handy during the claim process. Esurance Mobile, our smartphone app, features the ability to upload photos from the scene when you file a car insurance claim.
File your insurance claim
If you’re an Esurance customer, you can call from the scene at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). You can also file your claim online or through your smartphone by using our app or mobile site. If you aren’t sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
If you’ve never been in a car accident before, here are some handy tips to make sure that you’re prepared for the unpredictable.
- Pack a safety emergency kit containing a first aid kit. Include things like gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers and an instant cold compress. For cold weather include a snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid, warm clothing, blankets, and cat litter for traction if you get stuck.
- Keep important documents accessible (ID, additional insurance company contact information, vehicle registration, health plan information, etc.).
- Have your phone in your possession and charged every time you hit the road.
- Keep loose items in the center console or glove box, and not on the seats where they can get lost or fly around during an accident.
- Even if you have a clean driving record, you can never know when an accident might happen. Make sure to adhere to the above four directives and be ready for when the unforeseen happens.