The sickening crunch of metal against your car makes your hair stand on edge. You see smoke billowing out from your dented hood. The red blinking lights from the vehicle in front of you are brighter now that the protective light covers are cracked.
The driver in the vehicle you just collided with steps out of his car as your mind is whirling on what to do next. Here are 6 steps to follow when you are involved in an auto accident:
1: Don’t panic and drive away from the scene. You need to wait until the police arrive or until you have received all of the other driver’s insurance information before leaving the scene of the accident.
2: Take immediate notes of the accident. Write down everything regarding the damage, road conditions, traffic signs, witnesses and how the accident occurred from your perspective. It is easier to relate these facts when the details are still fresh in your mind. If you have not received one of Legacy’s Auto Accident Report Forms, click here. Keep this form in your glove box so it is easily accessible in case of an accident.
3: Take precautionary measures so other vehicles are not involved in the accident. If possible, move all vehicles to the side of the road. If the vehicle cannot be moved, set up warning triangles/turn on hazard lights/use flares so other motorists do not hit them. Also, if you can exit your vehicle safely, get out and stay away from the vehicle. If another motorist does accidentally hit one of the vehicles, you do not want to risk further injury.
4: Call the police and get the other driver’s information. In DFW, police will not normally respond to traffic accidents unless there are injuries or disputes. However, the police should still be called. Get the other driver’s name, telephone number, license plate number and insurance information, as well as taking pictures of the damage.
5: Contact your insurance agent immediately. Use the notes that you have gathered to give them all the details. Stick to the facts and do not discuss the accident with anyone except your insurance agent and the police.
6: Never admit you caused the accident. Even if you believe the accident was your fault, you should never admit guilt. Circumstances may later reveal that the accident was caused by something else; however, if you claim fault for the accident from the beginning, you will also claim the responsibility.