Fireman on the scene of a car accident

What to Do When You Have a Car Accident

Fireman on the scene of a car accident

If you have just been involved in a car accident, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed. Whether or not you are at fault for the accident, there are specific steps you should take to protect yourself after the incident occurs. Follow the tips below for the best results. 

1. Stop and deal with the Matter 

Leaving the scene of a car accident is illegal. If you have been involved in a car accident, remain on the scene until you have been permitted to leave by the authorities. 

2. Assess Injuries and Damage 

After your car has come to a stop and you have had a moment to get your bearings, look at yourself and your passengers and assess any injuries you may have. Once you have made sure there are no medical emergencies, assess the damage to your vehicle, and determine it could be moved to a safer location. If there are medical emergencies, call 911 before taking any other action. 

3. Contact the Authorities

If you have not already called 911 for medical assistance, you should still contact the authorities to report the accident. A police officer will come to the scene of the accident to find out what happened and determine whether a police report will be filed. 

Keep in mind that the state of Wisconsin requires you to report certain accidents. In these cases, you will need to file a report yourself if the police decide not to. 

4. Cooperate with Police

When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will most likely ask questions about what happened, especially if they plan to draft a formal police report. Answer all questions courteously, but be careful not to admit fault for the accident if possible. Be sure to find out whether a report will be filed before the authorities leave. 

5. Avoid Conversations with Others

Other people on the scene may try to draw you into conversations about the accident. Avoid these conversations if possible. If you must converse with other people on the scene, avoid admitting fault or saying anything too specific about the events leading up to the accident. Saying the wrong thing during this time could make it harder for you to collect insurance benefits, depending on the circumstances.  

6. Call Your Agent

As soon as you have a free moment, place a call to your insurance agent to report the accident. Ask your agent if they have any specific instructions for you to follow before you leave the scene. 

7. Write Down Information About the Accident

Before you leave the scene of the accident, you need to collect several vital pieces of information that could prove useful later. Information you should collect at this time includes:

  • Names of other drivers involved. 
  • Contact information for other drivers.
  • Other drivers’ insurance carrier and policy number. 

You should also take a few minutes to think about the events that occurred leading up to the crash and write them down in as much detail as possible. This information will be easiest to remember when you are still on the scene. 

8. Collect Photo Evidence

Even if police officers took pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene, it is still a good idea to take your own pictures. Use your cellphone to take photos of the accident scene from multiple angles. It would help if you also took close up pictures of the vehicles involved. These photos can be useful later in the claims process. 

Being involved in a car accident can be frightening. If you have a reliable insurance policy from a reputable provider, however, your agent will be able to help you pick up the pieces. Contact Main Street Insurance today to learn more about protecting yourself with car insurance