Accidents are a reality for drivers, but you can prepare yourself for them with a car accident checklist, so you don’t panic and make unnecessary mistakes. A car accident checklist is your safety net as a driver. Even if you’re one of the best drivers out there, many accidents are caused by other vehicles surrounding you. So, by having a plan, you’ll know what to do when an accident strikes, ensuring you stay organized and alert to address the situation.
Below are seven items to keep in mind when you’re in a car accident. Keep this checklist in your vehicle so you can confidently handle any accident efficiently and with minimal stress.
The first thing to do after a car accident is to stay calm. Panicking will only increase stress and cause you to overlook vital information that you need to properly resolve the issue and file a claim. Here are specific steps to focus on and include in your car accident checklist.
Keep an accident report form in your car
Check with your state DMV for an accident report form and keep it in your vehicle. This will aid you in gathering all necessary information at the time of the accident.
Don’t move the car unless you have to
After an accident, only move your vehicle if it’s obstructing traffic or it’s in the line of danger. Otherwise, you’ll want to keep things as-is for evidence. If you can’t move your vehicle and it’s in traffic, turn on your hazard lights to alert drivers of the accident.
Check for injuries and get help immediately
Make sure you, your passengers, and all people involved in the accident are not injured. If there are injured people, don’t move them unless it’s necessary. Call an ambulance right away. At this time, call the police to file a police report as well. This will be important when you file a claim.
Document the scene of the accident
Record everything on paper and in photos. This includes gathering statements from those involved in the accident and any witnesses. It also includes documenting the accident scene, such as the position of the vehicles involved, the date and time of the accident, and the address or location of the accident. Take photos of any damages on both vehicles and even debris from the scene.
Don’t admit fault for the accident, but share and obtain information such as your name, your vehicle’s make, model and year, and your insurance company’s information (which includes your agent’s name and phone number and your policy number). However, make sure no one photographs your license or registration number. Don’t provide your address and phone number for security reasons.
Request a copy of all accident or incident reports
Make sure you get a copy of the accident or incident reports filed by the police and other drivers. This will also be useful in settling your claim.
Report your claim
Contact your insurance company to file a claim using all of the information you gathered above. From there, your agent will give you instructions on how to settle the issue so you can pursue the necessary steps to cover costs due to injuries or vehicle damage.
Sometimes you may need a new vehicle after a car accident, but this alone doesn’t have to be an exhausting endeavor. One final thing to add to your car accident checklist is to visit a reliable car dealership to get a quality replacement.
At Auto Market of Florida, we offer quality vehicles at prices that fit your budget and needs. We have knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions and direct you to a vehicle that matches your needs.