WHAT STEPS I SHOULD TAKE IF I’M IN AN ACCIDENT?
Here are the main points to remember right after an accident:
- If you’re in a safe place, stay on the scene.
- Call 911 if there are injuries or the roadway is blocked.
- Exchange driver’s licenses and insurance cards.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage.
Q. What should I do immediately following an accident? Is it always necessary to call the police? How do I determine who’s at fault?
Michelle Early is a Farmers Insurance® agent in Edmond, Oklahoma. She offers these tips for handling an accident.
A. If it is safe to do so, and you are not seriously injured, move your vehicle out of additional harm’s way such as over to the shoulder of the road. Check on your passengers, pedestrians and other drivers to determine if any medical attention is needed. If anyone is injured, call 911. If there are no injuries to anyone, and the cars aren’t causing a traffic hazard, calling 911 may not be necessary. Calling the police to the scene may still be helpful, as they can prepare a report of what happened. In many states, the police will not respond to an accident on private property — like a parking lot or driveway — unless someone is injured.
Next, exchange contact information with the other driver. You may want to take a snapshot of each other’s driver’s license and insurance card. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and damage if you can do it safely. Contact your insurance company and pass along the information you’ve collected. It’s the insurance companies that ultimately determine who’s financially liable in an accident.