It actually happened. Maybe you were taking a turn and the driver next to you decided to change lanes without checking their blind spot. Perhaps you were caught off guard after the person in front slammed on their brakes too quickly for you to react in time.
Either way, whether it was you or someone else’s doing, this can be a very stressful experience as well as an unwarranted disruption. What’s important at this moment is to stay calm and focused while taking the proper steps necessary to make this process as smooth as possible.
Safety always comes first. If the accident was a minor one, you want to move any involved vehicles out of the way of traffic to a safe place on the shoulder of the road. If there is no shoulder, stay as far right as possible. Put your vehicle into park, turn it off and put your hazard lights on.
From there, check for any injuries. If you’re not sure of yours or someone else’s condition, don’t hesitate to call an ambulance to avoid any life-threatening concerns. You also want to make sure to call the police in order to file a police report. This can be vital to establish who exactly is at fault for the accident and is crucial during the insurance claim process.
It goes without saying you will also want to collect any information from anyone else who was involved in the accident. That includes their names and contact information; insurance company names and their contact information; the location of the accident; vehicle makes, models, and years; driver’s license and license plate numbers; any eyewitness reports; and the police officer’s name and badge number. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, it’s common for the police to separate the drivers once they arrive on the scene so try to get the previous listed information before the police arrive.
Take plenty of pictures as well of any of the vehicles that were a part of the accident along with the spot where the accident took place, but only if it is safe to do so. DON’T make agreements or sign any other pieces of documentation outside of the police report or insurance claim form.
Don’t admit fault for the accident even if you think it may have been yours as that can be held against you. Who knows – it could have been another driver’s negligence that caused this to happen. Don’t leave the scene of the accident until it is appropriate to do so. If you leave too soon, you may risk facing serious criminal penalties for a hit-and-run.
After all this is over, start the claim process immediately. If you aren’t in the right state of mind to answer all the questions or provide minute details, follow-up with your agent later with any additional details you feel would be helpful once you’ve calmed down. Also, note any medical treatments you receive as a result of the accident for coverage.
Emotions may be high right now, but by keeping all of this information handy, you can avoid making an already anxious situation much worse. An auto accident can affect even a veteran driver, but you can follow these steps to protect you and any passengers from any unnecessary woes. It’s better if you focus on making this process as smooth as possible! As your auto insurance agency in Fort Wayne, Myers & Hayden Insurance wants the claims process to run as smoothly as possible for you. Be sure to call us at 260-486-5255 if you are involved in an auto accident.