In a Car Accident? What Should You Do Next?

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No one expects to get into a car accident. That is why they are called accidents. Even though you cannot prevent an accident, you can be prepared for one. During most accidents the sudden jolt and whiplash may leave you shocked, stressed and scattered about what you should do next. While you cannot prepare ahead of time for the accident, you can definitely know the steps you should take when an accident happens. I personally have a list of steps in my car that I got from AAA, and keep them stored in my glove box. At least if you have a list, when you are feeling the pressure and are disoriented you can make sure you're getting all the information that you need to.

My family owns a collision shop, and of course, I have seen cars in seriously awful conditions and heard horror stories that I don't even want to repeat. However, there is one thing that my grandpa ingrained in my head when it comes to driving and that is SAFE. Not just the word safe as a reminder to be safe each time I get in the car, but the acronym as well.

S - Safety First
A - Alert Authorities
F - Fact Collection
E - Exchange Information

What should you do when an accident happens?
The number one priority after you've been in a car accident is the safety of yourself and others. 
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • If possible, pull your car over to a safe place
  • Check the safety of others
  • Provide assistance to anyone with an injury (do not move an injured person)
  • Alert authorities
  • Take pictures of your car and any others involved as well as the surrounding area
  • Take notes on what happened before, during and after the accident - include details about your location, weather, road conditions, and traffic control
  • Write down the names of any law enforcement officials or witnesses who are at the scene
  • Exchange information - this is essential if you are going to file any sort of claim or take legal action.
What information should be exchanged at an accident site?
Getting essential information is critical if you will be filing a claim or taking legal action. You will want to get:
  • Name(s)
  • Address(s)
  • Phone number(s)
  • License plate number(s)
  • Insurance provider(s)
What should you do when you get home from an accident?
You will want to report your claim as soon as possible. The soon you file a claim, the sooner your insurance provider can start working on it and the sooner you can get past the whole situation. Most agencies have an emergency claim number, call that if you need to. If you need a car accident attorney tampa be sure that you look into that right away. Remember time is money and you do not want to waste either in this situation.

Need more information? Allstate has a what to do after an accident step-by-step guide. Stay safe during your travels and hopefully you will never have to use this handy guide.

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