Steps to Take After a Car Accident
- When a motor vehicle accident occurs, it is easy to become confused and forget to acquire necessary information. Even a minor accident can leave people nervous and shaken. It’s a good idea to keep a checklist of phone numbers to call and questions to ask in the same folder as your insurance papers, in your car glove compartment or console. Then when you need them, everything will be in one place.
- If anyone is injured, call the police for help and tell them you need medical assistance. If anyone involved seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell that to the police when you call for help. Always call the police whether there are injuries or not. Many insurance companies will not cover an accident unless there is a police accident report. Once everyone is safe, you can get the other information you will need.
- Your insurance company will need: Full names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians who might have been involved, and any witnesses.
- Try to find out if anyone is injured or says he is injured; or if anyone said “I am fine”.
- Make as many notes as you can about the accident itself. Get information about the other vehicles involved, such as license plate numbers, make and model. What was the weather and lighting like at the time of the accident? Were any of the involved vehicles damaged? Was any of the damage obviously prior to the accident, such as tail lights or brake lights not functioning? Were any of the vehicles company-owned?
- Be sure to find out the insurance status of all vehicles and persons involved. If any drivers were not the registered owners, get the registered owners’ names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Did anyone take blame for the accident?
- Get the names and badge numbers of any police officers who come to the scene.
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