How to Handle a Car Accident – 8 Tips From Your Local Insurance Agent
After what seemed like just another typical morning commute up Route 93 into Boston, you now find yourself at a complete stop, smashed up against the bumper of the SUV in front of you.
Soaked in Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, your heart racing and a stream of profanities about to leap from your mouth, you try your best to calm down and comprehend what just happened.
First, you do a mental check of your body, starting with your head and working your way down. Okay, everything seems to be intact. But what about your car? Is it drivable? And how the heck did this happen? Maybe you didn’t notice break lights in front of you or maybe someone behind you was looking down at their phone and crashed into you. And now, should you move off the main road or stay put until help comes?
You take a deep breath, and decide that the safest thing to do is switch your hazard lights on and slowly move your car over to the breakdown lane, and wait, preparing yourself for the hassle of what comes next.
At Morse, we want you to know that we’ve all been there. Auto accidents, regardless of their severity, whether a fender bender or multi-car pile-up, are emotional and unsettling to say the least, and happen to even the most cautious of drivers.
In fact, with nearly 264 million vehicles on the road, and over 215 million licensed drivers in the United States, the probability of getting into a car accident at some point during your life is extremely high. With odds like that, Morse, of course, wants to make sure that you know what to do should you find yourself involved in a crash.
What to Do Immediately Following an Auto Accident:
When you experience a stressful event such as a car crash, in the moment, it can be very overwhelming to figure out all the steps you should take to protect yourself, your vehicle, and other drivers on the road. It is our suggestion that you familiarize yourself on what to do today, so that in the event of an accident, you might actually be the level-headed one.
Here are eight simple, yet important things, that you, or a member of your family, should do if you find yourself involved in an auto accident:
- Check for injuries, on yourself and on those involved. If someone has been hurt or you are unsure, call an ambulance to be safe.
- If it’s not dangerous, move your vehicle out of traffic and to a safe place, such as a side street, parking lot, or to the breakdown lane of the highway.
- Put your car in park, take the key out of the ignition, and flip on your hazard lights to alert fellow drivers that you have pulled over and stopped due to an emergency.
- Dial 911, even if the accident is minor. A police report is very important to the insurance claims process and can help establish who’s at fault.
- Display neon cones, warning triangles or flares, if you have them, as an added safety precaution. And, if you don’t have them, consider buying some today. At night, especially, these devices can be critical in alerting other drivers to stay a safe distance.
- Collect important information from the other drivers involved in the accident, including:
- Name and contact information
- Vehicle description – make, model and year
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance company name and policy numbers
- Witness names and phone numbers
- Accident location
- If possible, the police officer’s name and badge number
- Take photos of your car and of the other vehicles involved.
- Call road side assistance, such as Triple AAA, or a local towing company, to move your vehicle if it is not safe to drive.
After You Leave the Scene:
Once you are off the street, whether safe at home, at the office, or at the auto repair shop, now is the time to call your friendly Morse agent. Or, simply contact your insurance carrier directly to notify them that you have been in an accident and that you’d like to start the claims process.
We only partner with the very best insurance providers in the industry, so we are confident that your claim will be handled swiftly and managed properly by your carrier.
The team at Morse, of course, will always be available to walk you through the claims process should you have any questions and, if you encounter any issues, our experienced team will be here to help mediate and ensure your claim is filed correctly and quickly.
Before You Have An Accident:
This might seem a little backward of us, but now that you know what to do during and immediately following a car accident, the Morse team wants to hit the rewind button. There is one other important thing that we want to make sure you have all squared away before you ever have to deal with the aftermath of a car accident, and that is having comprehensive auto insurance coverage in place to shield you, and possibly even “forgive” you, in the event of a crash.
What do we mean by forgiveness? Check out our Accident Forgiveness page to find out more!
Have an additional question about what to do during and/or after a car accident? Need some help filing a recent auto claim? Morse, of course, is here to help! Stop by in person, or give us a call today to connect with a local and friendly insurance agent.