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what to do after a car accidentNo matter how severe, a car accident is a nerve-wracking experience. When dealing with the stress of such an incident, it’s important to remain calm and collected. But in time of duress, it can be difficult to think clearly and logically about auto insurance or what to do after a car accident.

NOTE: Never admit fault, even if you think you may be responsible.

Here’s what to do after a car accident:

What to do after a car accident

Safety is always the first priority in an accident. If the collision is minor and the vehicles are still operable, move to a safe place away from traffic. If possible, always avoid getting out of your vehicle on a freeway or busy street.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Get to safety
  • Make sure your car is turned off and in park
  • Turn on your hazard lights

If you can’t leave the roadway, use cones, flares, or additional safety measure to ensure oncoming traffic can easily spot the incident.

Call for help

Once you know you’re safe, assess the situation. Are there injuries? If so, call an ambulance immediately. Even if you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Next, call the police. Even if the accident is minor, a police report can be a crucial component of any insurance claim. Not only will it help determine who is at fault, but it can greatly expedite the entire claims process.

Collect the necessary information

You’ll want to be sure and collect all the necessary information from all parties involved. This includes drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Here’s a list of what you need:

  • First and last names of everyone involved (including witnesses)
  • Make, model and year of all vehicles involved
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Name and policy number of the insurance companies
  • Description of the scene of the accident, including address, time of day and weather conditions.
  • Description of damage
  • Photos of damage
  • Name, department and badge number of any first responders

Taking photos of the scene and the damage is important, especially if there is any question as to how the accident occurred or who was at fault. Remember, even if you caused the accident, it’s important to never admit fault. This includes apologizing to the other parties involved.

Do not sign any documentation unless it’s from the police or your insurance agent.

File a claim

If you think you need to file a claim for your accident, we highly suggest calling our office first and speaking with one of our licensed insurance professionals. We can be reached at (805) 564-7645.

For more information on what to do after a car accident, contact your Brashears Insurance agent today.