Key Steps After an Auto Accident
When you are in an auto accident what you do next can greatly effect the outcome of your safety and insurance claim.
1. Get to a safe area.
The safety of you and your passengers should be your first priority. If it’s safe to move your car, get a safe area and turn on you hazard lights.
2. Stop your vehicle, turn it off and get out.
Once you are in a safe place, turn off the engine, shift into park, set the emergency and turn on you hazard lights. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door.
3. Make sure others involved are OK.
Once you know you are safe and anyone in your car is safe, check on others that could be involved. Call 911, if anyone could be injured. It is important to have even minor injuries checked.
4. Call the police to the scene.
A police report is a legal third party document that will be critical when a claim is disputed or when working with your insurance company. Make sure you cooperate, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police do their work. Let them ask the questions and give them what they need.
If the police determine they don’t need to file a report, you can still report it to DMV.
5. Gather all the information you will need.
At this point more is better. Do not skip this even if you think there is no real damage. I see claims all the time that no one thought the damage was that bad. Photos of everything will greatly help.
Gather everything you can think of, including:
• Driver and passenger names
• License plate numbers
• Insurance info
• Makes and models of all vehicles involved
• Contact info for any eyewitnesses
• Location of the accident
• The name and badge number of any responding police officers
6. Document the scene
Take pictures of everything around you that may assist in your defense.
7. Call your Insurance claims department
As soon as you can take the information you have gathered and report the claim to your insurance company.
After you’ve done all this, it’s our turn to help. We’ll work with you to get your car repaired as quickly as possible. Call Collision Pros at any of our Northern California locations in Auburn, Chico, Paradise, Red Bluff or Woodland.