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7 Steps to Follow if You’re Involved in a Car Accident

Car of road accidentEvery year, millions of us travel during the busy holiday season. Unfortunately, due to traffic, bad weather, and report the accident to the proper authorities.

Move your vehicle. If you can, move your car off to the side of the road to get yourself out of harm’s way. If you can’t move the car, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the situation.

Be careful exiting your vehicle. In most cases (if you’re not seriously injured) it’s best to get out of your car. But make sure it’s safe to get out of the vehicle first. Look for oncoming traffic, and fall.

Check for injuries in others. If another vehicle was involved in the accident, check on the occupants and dial 911 if necessary. Remember that even minor symptoms should be investigated, as they could actually be a sign of something more serious.

Call the police. No matter who was at fault, or how agreeable the other party seems to be, call the police. An official accident report will prove invaluable in processing insurance claims, and avoid accepting or assigning blame. He or she will make that determination based on the facts. If police can’t make it to the scene, as sometimes happens in more minor accidents, you can file an accident report with the DMV.

Snap a few quick pictures. If you have a smart phone, put it to use. Grab a few photos of the accident scene, as they might come in handy during the insurance claims process.

Document the accident. Ask the other driver(s) for name(s), insurance information, and numbers. And of course, remember to record the location of the accident.

Notify your insurance company. This can wait until you’ve left the scene and arrived at your destination, but report the accident as soon as possible. Call your auto insurance representative, or use your insurance provider’s app to report the accident.