What to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident

Having an auto accident or dealing with a catastrophe is stressful, yet it’s important to try to stay calm and focused.

1. Safety First

  • If the car accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place.
  • Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights.
  • Use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added safety, if you have them.

2. Get Help

  • Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
  • Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who’s at fault.

3. Collect Information

  • Gather information from others involved in the accident.
  • Drivers and passengers: names and contact information.
  • Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year).
  • Driver’s license numbers – License plate numbers.
  • Insurance companies and policy numbers.
  • Eyewitnesses: names and contact information.
  • Accident scene location and/or address.
  • Police officer’s name and badge number.
  • Take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene, if it is safe to do so.
  • Do not sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
  • Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.

4. File a Claim

  • Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Call your insurance company and file a claim.
  • Let them know which shop you would like to take your vehicle to (You have the right to choose).

5. Find a Reputable Auto Repair Facility

  • Find a shop that you feel comfortable with.
  • Ask family and friends about referring you to a body shop they have used before.

Being involved in an accident can be a scary thing and using some of these tips can help if you may not know what to do. And as always stay safe.

This is a sponsored article and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Deer Park Gazette or its staff.

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