Sunbeam Tip #5: What to do after an auto accident
So, you’ve just been involved in an accident…. Well, unless you have participated in a demolition derby, you are a race car driver or something similar, you probably are a little out of sorts, at least mentally, if not physically as well. You may not feel the adrenaline pumping in your veins at the moment but it is there and your body is on full alert. The list of things you see below may seem obvious. Just roll with it and try to mentally picture this once your moment comes because there are many things that you think of after the fact, once you’ve calmed down and then it is too late to go back. So here we go!
- Keep cool, calm and collected, as best you can. Take a deep breath, then go handle your business!
- Move out of the way of traffic, and turn on your hazard lights.
- Call the police, even if it is a minor accident. If someone is injured, request medical assistance. If fire is involved, request fire department aid.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s).
- Don’t forget to write down the license plate numbers of all involved vehicles. If it’s safe to do so, take pictures of the accident scene and the involved vehicles.
- If you can’t report your claim right away (or even if you can), you can record the details of your accident while you are “in the moment”. No pen or paper, no worries! Remember the “Smart” phone you have in your pocket? Use it to its fullest potential. Do this by taking audio recordings, pictures and video. The more severe the accident, the more likely there are things that you’ll forget about. For this reason alone, you need to “brain dump” as much as possible into your device. Remember, even though you are projecting “cool and calm”, you are nothing but “cool and calm”on the inside. Stories change, your recollection changes, eye witnesses disappear so think like a crime scene investigator when collecting your info.
- Report to your insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you report, the sooner you can reap the benefits of the coverage you paid for. You do have adequate coverage right? Bring in the professionals and let them operate for you.
Be proactive after an accident and give your “team” as much ammunition as possible to deal with the accident in your favor, while maintaining your health and safety. Oh, and kiss your loved ones when you get home. Today could have ended in a very different way!