Few things in life are more frightening or traumatic than being in an auto accident. As the word itself implies, an accident is unforeseen, unexpected and unintentional – and as a result people are often unprepared and ill equipped to deal with its aftermath in a clear-minded manner.
No one wants to think about what they would do in the event of an accident, however, BEFORE an accident is exactly when you must familiarize yourself with the steps you should take if an accident were to occur.
1. IF I AM IN AN ACCIDENT, DO I HAVE TO GET THE OTHER DRIVER’S INFORMATION?
YES - Always get the other driver’s information, and give them your information!
This information includes:
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license number
- Registration Number
- Vehicle make and model
- Insurance company specifics, including policy number
You do not need a Social Security Number in order to file a police report or claim. If the other driver or even the police ask for it, politely, but firmly advise them that this information is not necessary in order to file a claim/report.
Other information to gather, if possible:
- Witness information, including name, address and phone number.
- Take pictures to document the vehicle damage. The more pictures the better. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster.
Call your insurance company. Time is of the essence here, regardless of fault. Calling your insurer to report the accident also ensures you get your side of the story on record before the other driver files a claim. That can put you at an advantage in reducing the amount the other driver claims.
Make arrangements to have vehicle towed (if necessary). Suburban Autoworks (215-345-521) will arrange to pick up the vehicle and transport it back to our facility.
Contact body shop for repairs. If the damages do not require a tow then you can come into Suburban Autoworks for an estimate and to discuss your options.
1. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN AN ACCIDENT AND THERE ARE NO INJURIES, OR MINOR INJURIES?
Safety is your top priority. Maintain the safety of everyone involved in the accident and to take actions to prevent more smash-ups and injuries. Turn on hazard lights, exit the vehicle when it’s safe to do so, and walk to the side of the road and out of traffic. Ideally, you should have a warning triangle or flares in your car’s emergency kit to set out as a warning to oncoming traffic.
- Check for injuries. Check on the status of the occupants of your car, and then check on the driver and passengers of the other car. Call 911 for an ambulance if needed.
- Call the police. The other person involved might suggest not calling the police and settling things between just the two of you. Ignore this suggestion and call the police, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. Why? By law, you may be required to call the police − a good practice because having the police on the scene can keep everyone calm and collected. Also, a police report can help establish liability and can protect you from fraud.
*Follow the procedures from #1
2. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM IN AN ACCIDENT AND THERE ARE INJURIES?
- Call 911. Be calm and clear when describing location, injuries and other specifics of the situation
- Do not move seriously injured people (unless there is a life-threatening situation, such as a fire)
- Do not move the vehicles unless they may cause another collision
- Set out flares, triangles or other mechanisms to warn other traffic
*Follow the procedures from #1
Suburban Autoworks works with all insurance companies. We are a direct repair facility for many insurance companies. For the companies that we are not a direct repair facility, they will send out an appraiser to go over the damages and will continue to communicate with them as additional damages may or may not arise. Call us at 215-345-5211.