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Video:What to Do After a Car Accident

with Don Schechter

Car accidents are scary enough, but knowing what immediate steps you must take after a crash will give you one less thing to worry about. Find out what you should do and who you should call after a car accident.See Transcript

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Transcript:What to Do After a Car Accident

Hi, I'm Don Schechter. Today I am going to talk about what to do during and after an automobile accident.

Keep Calm After Car Accidents

Auto accidents can be a pretty scary, stressful time, but it is extremely important that you try not to panic and remain calm, especially if there are other passengers in the vehicle.

Immediate Steps After a Car Accident

There are a few steps you should always follow after an accident. First, put the car in park and put on your emergency lights. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Assess any injuries to yourself and/or passengers, and inspect the car for damages.

Report the Car Accident

Immediately call 911 and report the accident, giving dispatchers any helpful landmarks or signs that will help them find your location quickly. Let them know how many vehicles are involved and if there are any injuries and/or passenger injuries. You should not move your vehicle until the police come and safely guide you to the shoulder or side of the road.

File the Car Accident Report

Once the police arrive, file an accident report. It is suggested not to discuss the accident with anyone except for the police, and not to admit fault. You should also get as much contact information from the other vehicles involved in the accident as possible. Important information such as name, contact numbers, addresses, car make, model, year, color, license plate number, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

You also need their car insurance name and phone number as well, and any policy numbers they might have. It is also extremely helpful to take a photograph of the cars damages and the scene of the accident. While it is not common to travel with a camera, it is smart to either keep a disposable camera in your car, or to use the camera capabilities on cell phones.

Contact Your Car Insurance Company

Finally, call your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies provide you with a wallet-sized reference card with a 1-800 emergency phone number. You can also refer to the copy of your insurance policy in your glove compartment. Be sure to give the insurance company as much information as possible.

Auto accidents are never pleasant, but being able follow these steps will ensure that dealing with the aftermath will be a lot less painful.

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