What to Do After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are unexpected and stressful. Even the most careful drivers may be involved. If you are in an accident, Carter Agency is committed to helping restore your peace of mind as soon as possible. If you have recently been involved in an accident, call your respective insurance company’s toll free reporting number.
- Carry a set of cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares in your trunk to help alert traffic.
- It also helps to have a pen and a card with any relevant medical information for you and your family.
Immediately After an Accident
- Take a deep breath and stay calm.
- Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
- If accident is minor, move cars to a safe place, out of traffic.
- Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor.
- Notify your insurance company immediately.
Other Important Tips
- Do not sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
- Make immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages to all vehicles involved, witness information, etc.
- If the name on an auto registration is different than the driver, jot down the relationship.
- Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- State only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent.
- If possible, don’t leave the accident scene before the police and other drivers do.
Important First Steps
- Take reasonable steps to prevent potential safety risks and/or further damage.
- If the loss is caused by theft, notify the police.
- Notify banks and credit card companies about any missing debit or credit cards.
- Keep accurate records of what you spend repairing things.
- Separate items that may be cleaned and/or repaired.
- Check with your claim representative before you discard any items you plan to claim as damaged.
- Review your policy for specific coverage information.
If Anyone is Injured
- Report it immediately to your agent.
- Obtain names and addresses of any witnesses.
- Don’t make voluntary payments, obligations, or expenses outside of emergency first aid.
When Someone Files a Claim Against You
- Report your claim, your insurance company will conduct an investigation to assess the allegations.
- Insurance companies will pay any claims you are legally liable for, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.