Step-By-Step Guide of What To Do After a Car Accident
Wondering what to do after a car accident? Taking the right steps after being involved in a motor vehicle accident is essential for protecting your physical health and financial well-being.
At The Hartford, we understand accidents happen. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by step guide to help you navigate through it all, from getting yourself to safety on the scene to filing a claim with your seguro para autos
company. Here are eight steps to follow:
1. Remain Calm and Check Yourself for Injuries
When you’re in an accident, it’s important to first remain calm. Then, you should check for injuries. If you’re seriously injured, call 9-1-1 immediately or ask someone else to do so. Try not to move as you’re waiting for emergency personnel.
Keep in mind that sometimes adrenaline may dull the effects of pain, so it might not be immediately apparent that you’re injured. If an injury becomes apparent in the following days, you should seek medical treatment.
2. Check on Your Passengers and the Occupants of the Other Vehicle
If you’re not seriously injured, check on any passengers in your car. You may also check on the occupants of the other car involved in the accident. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you notice that anyone is injured.
3. Move to a Safe Location
After you check for injuries, it’s important to make sure that you’re physically out of harm’s way. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe spot, like the side of the road. If you’re not able to move your car, don’t stay with it on the road as this could be very dangerous. Instead, leave your vehicle where it is and go to a safe location. You can turn on your car’s hazard lights to make it more apparent to other drivers and help prevent other accidents.
4. Call 9-1-1
After you get to safety, call 9-1-1 immediately. This is an important step to take even if the accident is minor. Once police officers arrive to the scene, they will fill out an accident report. You may be asked to provide a copy of this report to your car insurance company when you submit a claim, so be sure to keep it for your records.
If you’re not able to contact the police directly, you can go to your nearest station to file a police report in person.
5. Wait for Help To Arrive
The next step is to wait for help to arrive at the scene of the accident. However, you should be wary of potential scams, like bandit tow trucks. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, these are tow trucks that show up to the scene even though you didn’t call them.2 Bandit tow trucks persuade drivers to have their vehicles towed to a repair shop, often charging very large fees. However, these repair facilities are usually dishonest and may hold cars hostage until a payment is made to release the vehicle.
6. Exchange Information With the Other Drivers
It’s important to gather information about the other driver involved in the accident. Some key pieces of information you should exchange include:
- Full names and contact information, like phone numbers
- Insurance information, such as company name and policy numbers
- Driver’s licenses and license plate numbers
- Location of the accident
- Type, make and model of your car and the other vehicle involved in the accident
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), you should avoid discussing who is at fault for the accident at this time.3 This is typically handled by insurance companies.
7. Document the Accident
To document the scene of the accident, follow these steps:
- Take photos: Take multiple photos from various angles of your vehicle and any others involved in the accident.
- Write down names of police officers: Make sure you document information about the responding police officer, including their name and badge number. If there are multiple officers at the scene, take down their information as well.
- Get a report: Ask the responding officer where you can get a copy of the police report.
- Talk to witnesses: If there are witnesses to the accident, speak with them and gather their contact information.
8. Notify Your Insurance Company and File a Claim
After an accident, you should notify your auto insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process. If you’re a customer of The Hartford, you can call our specialists at 877-805-9918
to file a claim. They are available 24/7 to answer your questions and assist you through the process. You can also file an auto insurance claim
online or through The Hartford mobile app
FAQs About What To Do After a Car Accident
What To Do After a Car Accident That Is Not Your Fault?
Even if you’re not at fault in an accident, it’s still a good idea to submit a claim to your insurance company. This is especially important if you live in a no-fault state
. These states require each driver to file a claim with their own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident.
What To Do After a Car Accident That Is Your Fault?
If you’re at fault in an accident, it’s important to file a claim with your insurance company. Most states are at-fault states, which require that the person responsible for the accident pay for damages.
What Are Three Important Tips for Filing an Auto Insurance Claim?
When filing an insurance claim, the III recommends following these tips:4
- Contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you file a claim, the easier it will be to remember the details of the accident.
- Use a mobile app to streamline your claims process. This allows you to submit claim documentation quickly and right at your fingertips. If you’re a customer of The Hartford, you can file a claim via our mobile app.
- Check on the timing of your claim. Be sure to confirm key deadlines from your insurer regarding your claim.
Am I Required To File an Insurance Claim?
Typically, you aren’t required to file a claim after an accident. However, if you choose not to submit a claim, you should be prepared in case the other driver involved in the accident files a claim with their own insurance company.
Will My Rates Increase After I’m Involved in a Car Accident?
Your car insurance rates may be impacted after an accident. Typically, this depends on how severe the accident was and your prior driving history.
Get a Fast and Free Quote for the AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
An accident can be a stressful and scary experience, so it’s important to have car insurance you can count on. There are a lot of insurance companies out there, but not all of them are the same. The Hartford offers the only auto insurance program endorsed by AARP, which has been protecting AARP members and their families since 1984.
Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford1
will be there when you need us most. To learn more about the coverages and benefits available to you, call 888-546-9099
o obtener una cotización
Last Updated: August 14, 2023
2 National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), “Avoid Auto Repair Scams”
3 Insurance Information Institute (III), “What to do at the scene of an accident”
4 Insurance Information Institute (III), “How to file an auto insurance claim”
Divulgaciones adicionales a continuación.