If you have never been in a car accident before, it’s a good idea to read up on what to expect. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to stay calm, focus on what needs to be done, and stay in control over the situation. Make sure all documentation is within easy reach, including registration, driver’s license, and of course, the card for your Fall River auto insurance policy. Whether you are on the highway or a local neighborhood street, the protocol for actions that must be taken after an accident are the same. The safety of you, your passengers, and anyone else that was involved in the incident should be a top priority.
Step One: Move to a Safe Spot
The chances are good that your accident either happened in the middle of an intersection or a group of other traffic. If it is safe to do so, you should try to move your vehicle out of the way. The shoulder of the road or a small parking area off the road will do nicely in this type of situation. However, if you are at all injured or if it is not possible to move the vehicle, auto insurance companies agree that you should make sure to turn on the hazard lights so other drivers can be warned that you are stopped and not moving.
Step Two: Get Out of the Car
Make sure to turn off the engine, put the vehicle into park, or if that is not possible, set the emergency brake to prevent it from rolling. Check your mirrors and out your windows to ensure that it is safe to get out of the car before you open the door. You don’t want to survive a car accident just to get hit by a passing vehicle once you get out of your car.
Step Three: Use Safety Gear
If you have cones, flares, or other road safety items, be sure to use them at this time. This will alert other drivers that there is an accident, provide a safer space for you and anyone else involved in the accident, and let any passing law enforcement know that you need assistance.
Step Four: Call for Help
Check on all parties involved in the accident to see if anyone requires medical attention. Once you have a better understanding of the situation, go ahead and call 9-1-1 to report any injuries. Even a minor symptom should still be checked out by first responders to ensure that there isn’t anything more serious that has occurred. You should also call the local, county, or state police, depending on the location of the accident, to report the incident. This can be extremely helpful when dealing with insurance companies after the fact.
Step Five: Gather and Exchange Information
While most people know that they need to obtain information about the other parties’ auto insurance companies, they don’t realize that they need to collect additional details as well. The names of other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and eyewitnesses should all be written down, including contact information, license plate numbers, makes and models of all vehicles involved, and of course, their Fall River auto insurance details. You should also collect the names and badge numbers of any police officers that respond, as well as the exact location of the accident.
Step Six: Take Photos
Most cellphones have photos these days, so it is in your best interest to take as many photos as you can to document the scene. Even if the vehicles have been moved out of the road to safety, still take pictures of the vehicles, the damage that was done, and the scene of the accident itself. While you might not see anything important right away, after the fact, you might notice details that would be helpful during the claims process.
Step Seven: Contact Your Insurance Agent in Fall River
Once you have all of the information you need to file a claim, contact your local Fall River auto insurance provider. Our team will ask questions about the accident, request details that you collected from the scene, and will send a claims adjuster out to your home (or wherever the vehicle is located), to evaluate the damage. We will work with you to get your car repaired as quickly as possible or guide you through the process if the vehicle is totaled.
Get a FREE Quote for Car Insurance in Fall River
If you are interested in learning more about Fall River auto insurance and the independent auto insurance companies options available at Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency, give us a call at 508-678-9611. We can answer any questions you have about coverage options in Southeastern Massachusetts and connect you with a helpful insurance agent in Fall River who can get you a policy designed to protect you in the event of an accident or other covered loss.