You’re away at college, finally “on your own” and enjoying your freedom. It’s been a long day of studying at the library and your driving back to the dorm when out of nowhere, a car runs a red light and it heading straight towards you! You swerve to avoid getting hit, jump the curb and hit a tree. Mom and dad are 2 hours away so you’re left to figure this out on your own. Luckily before you left home, your parents scheduled an appointment with their insurance agent to have the conversation about what to do after an auto accident. You rack your memory and remember the steps you went over.
Accidents happen quickly and can be upsetting. Take a deep breath and use a clear head when talking with other drivers or passengers involved in the accident. It may be tempting but do not argue.
Prevent additional accidents
If you are able, move damaged vehicles to the side of the road. Warn oncoming traffic with a light, flag or similar device.
Help the injured
Do not render first aid unless you are trained. Call 911 if anyone is injured and provide the dispatcher with as much detailed information as possible.
Call the police
Even if there is not much damage, you should call the police. Don’t discuss what happened with anyone except the police.
File a report
In the event that the police are unable to respond to your call, you’ll need to go to the nearest police station and file an accident report.
Take pictures or write down accident information
Make a note of what happened, when it happened and where it happened while it is fresh in your mind. A couple days after the accident you may need to answer questions and be unsure or unable to remember each detail.
Call you auto insurance agent
Call you agent as quickly as possible so they can assist you with the claim. They can help with recommending an auto repair shop, scheduling a rental car if needed and review coverage with you so you have a complete understanding of what you will need to pay for out of pocket
Because of the time you spent with your parents and their insurance agent, you were able to keep a clear head, not get into a disagreement and handled the task at hand with ease. Accidents are stressful enough as it is. By taking the time to understand what you need to do just in case you can make things much easier on yourself. Annual appointments with your insurance agent are beneficial by helping to ensure you not only understand what you need to do but to ensure you have the coverage to fit your individual needs.
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