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What to Do After an Auto Accident

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Even the best drivers may find themselves involved in an auto accident at some point. If you find yourself in this situation, it's important to know what to do. An accident can leave you feeling shaken, or you may be faced with serious injuries or property damage. Even if the incident is only a minor fender-bender, it could very well set your nerves on edge.

Though some accidents are difficult — if not impossible — to prevent, you can prepare yourself to deal with the aftermath. First, be sure your auto insurance coverage is appropriate. If something goes wrong, at least you'll know you're protected financially.

Next, learn what to do at an accident scene. Knowing how to handle the situation can help you regain a sense of control and soothe your frayed nerves. Here are some specific steps to take immediately after a motor vehicle collision:

  1. Stay calm.
    Once an accident has occurred, it's important to keep your composure. Don't accuse the other driver or accept blame. Leave it to the police and your insurance adjuster to determine who was at fault. Focus your attention on dealing with the situation at hand.
  2. Assess injuries and call for help.
    Even before you call the police, check to see if anyone at the scene is injured. If so, try to assess the severity of the injuries and seek medical attention immediately.
  3. Leave the scene "as is."
    It's best to leave an accident scene untouched until the police arrive. However, if your vehicle is obstructing traffic, you may need to move it to prevent further damage.
  4. Obtain information about the other driver(s).
    Take down the name, address, telephone number, license number, insurer, and insurance policy number of every driver involved in the incident. Also, note each vehicle's year, make, model, and license plate or registration number. Ask to see each driver's license and registration. These two documents provide most of the information you'll need. If the other driver does not own the vehicle, request information on the owner. Electric Insurance includes complimentary claims cards in all policy packets. Be sure to keep your card in your glove compartment to help remind you of what to ask. If you don't have your card handy, call us at 800.342.5342, and we will send one to you.
  5. Identify eyewitnesses.
    If possible, obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses.
  6. Notify authorities.
    Call the police. If you do not notify them at the time of the incident, contact them as soon as possible. Having a record of the accident, even if it was only minor, can help protect you from any unfounded claims that may arise later.

Finally, give us a call at 800.342.5342. Remember, we're here to help. If an accident occurs, we can let you know what follow-up actions to take. We can also begin preparing your claim and advise you about what to expect next. We hope you'll never experience an auto accident. But, if one should happen, we're just a phone call away.

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