Sullivan’s Glass, Frame & Body Shop

This 7-step guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful — and the claims process a whole lot smoother.

1.    Move to a safe area (if you can) – Make sure that you are not in the way of traffic. It only takes one driver to make a minor accident into a major event. Pull over to the side of the road or if your vehicle is able to a nearby gas station to stay out of harm’s way.

2.    Stop your vehicle and get out – Be sure that your vehicle is in park and turned off; being in an accident can make small things like parking your car slip your mind. Also make sure that you are unharmed. Adrenaline can make major injuries seem minor.

3.    Check on others involved – Be sure the other individual involved is okay as well, assessing damage to your vehicle is secondary to getting medical attention for you or the other driver.

4.    Call the police to the scene – If there is significant damage to either vehicle, injuries, or a death, you definitely need to call the police. Be sure to ask that a police report be filled out for your insurance company.

5.    Gather and exchange info – Be sure to get all the information you can regarding the other individual and their vehicle. Name, number, address, drivers’ license, license plate, and basic insurance information are all the basics that you will need to file an insurance claim. Additionally be cordial to the other driver, but do not say “I’m sorry.” Saying I’m sorry in passing at the scene of an accident can mean you admit liability for what happened.

6.    Document the scene – Everyone has a cell phone nowadays, use this to your advantage. Take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle as well. If you are ever not satisfied with your insurance claim these pictures can be a lifesaver. 

7.    File your insurance claim – Call your insurance company the same day your accident happens. The more time that passes in between your accident and your claim, the more information you forget about the accident. When it comes to talking about the accident be sure to only give details to those who should know about the accident; your lawyer, insurance representative, or the police.