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Being involved in an accident is a very stressful situation. And no matter how small the accident is, sometimes we are not sure of what we should or shouldn't do. Here are some tips:

Do's:

  • If possible, stop your car in a safe and visible place. If the car cannot be moved, turn on the hazard lights. Turn off the ignition. Be careful when exiting your car.
  • Determine if anyone is injured. Do not move an injured person.
  • Call the police (911 in most places) immediately - no matter how small the accident is. Report any injuries.
  • If another vehicle is involved, write down the driver's name, address and driver's license number. Also get the car's year, make, model, license plate number and the insurer's name. If the driver does not own the car, get the name of the car's owner. Write down names and addresses of other passengers or witnesses.
  • Write down the names and badge numbers of police and emergency personnel at the scene. Ask the officer how to obtain a copy of the police report for your insurance claim.
  • If you suspect that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, ask that a breath test be performed on you and the other driver.
  • As soon as possible, write an account of what happened: time of day, weather, hazards, road conditions and driving speed. Draw a picture of the site, showing stop signs, signal lights, etc. If other cars are involved, note any damage, being sure to note damage that appears to have been there prior to the accident. If a camera is available, take pictures of the accident.
  • Report the accident to us or your insurance company as soon as possible.

Don'ts:

  • Don't admit guilt for the accident, but do cooperate with the police.
  • Don't reveal how much coverage you have.
  • Don't accept any money the other driver may offer. By accepting money, you may give up your right to file a claim against the other driver, even if the damages turn out to be more extensive than you first thought.
  • Don't agree to forget about a minor accident. You may see later that there were hidden damages or injuries. The other person may even file a claim or lawsuit against you.

You can download and print the checklist below for your auto insurance carrier. Keep it in your glove box along with your ID card and you will be ready when or if you need it.

Erie Insurance Company

Hartford Insurance Company

Metlife Auto and Home

Progressive Insurance Company

Posted 10:44 PM

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