I JUST HAD a car ACCIDENT, NOW what?
Figuring out what to do after a car accident can be confusing, especially if you’ve never been in one yourself before. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to expect or even where to start. After a collision, you should take several key steps to ensure the health and safety of those involved, and to ensure speedy processing of your accident claim.
Step 1: Check for Injuries
After the car accident, immediately determine whether anyone is injured. If so, call 911 to get an ambulance and police on the scene.
Step 2: Consider moving the vehicles to safety
If the vehicles involved are still operational, make sure to pull completely off the road to avoid being hit by approaching vehicles. If you have flares or reflective emergency triangles, set them up to warn other cars. If there appears to be danger of an explosion, get everyone out of the way. You may want to take pictures of the scene before moving the vehicles.
Step 3: Call the Police and File a Police Report
As mentioned in Step 1, call the police immediately if the collision injured either you or the other driver. This is mandatory in the state of Georgia in all accidents resulting in injury or death, regardless of who appears to be at fault. After law enforcement writes their report, ask the officer(s) on scene how you can obtain a copy for your own records in order to file an injury claim.
Step 4: Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Exchange your insurance coverage and registration information with the other driver. This is important and should be done regardless of who is considered to be the driver at fault. You will need the other driver’s insurance company’s information for a later step in the insurance claims process. Exchanging information also alerts you as to whether or not the other driver has an insurance policy.
Step 5: File a Claim With Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident as soon as you can. It is wise to call the company directly to ensure smooth communication. Your insurance company will also give you directions on what documentation you need to provide. If you followed the previous steps, this means gathering your documentation and other evidence, such as dash cam footage, and filling out any additional forms.
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