Someone was texting while driving, or drunk, or wasn’t paying attention and you’ve been in a crash. Now what?

It’s scary, and it happens to over three million people a year. It costs the U.S. over $230 billion, too.

If you’re one of those three million people facing this scary situation, what should you do? Here are five steps you need to take if you were in a car accident today.

1. Check on Yourself and Your Passengers

Make sure that you and anyone riding in the car is OK. If anyone is hurt, you don’t want to aggravate the injuries.

Take a moment to collect your thoughts. You’ll want to be calm and take stock of everything around you before moving to the next step.

2. Pull Over and Call 911

If possible, move your car to a safe location and turn on your hazard lights. Ease it to the shoulder or out of the way area so as not to impeded traffic.

Call 911 as soon as possible and wait for the police to arrive. Remember, you can’t leave the scene of an accident.

3. Exchange Information

You’ll need to exchange information with the other party in order to file a car accident claim. Here’s what you’ll need to exchange:

  • Name, driver’s license, and contact info
  • Vehicle information and license plate
  • Insurance name and policy number

When speaking to the other party, never admit responsibility or apologize. You could end up legally liable for any words you say, even if you’re trying to be polite.

Limiting talking to the other party at the scene of the accident is best for both of you. This protects you from assuming liability with the insurance company.

4. Get All the Facts

Although you should limit what you say to the other party, you’ll need to speak with witnesses and other people at the scene.

  • Talk to witnesses and write down their names, phone numbers, and what they saw
  • Get names and badge numbers of any police officers that respond
  • Get names and phone numbers for any passengers
  • Take photos at the scene

Documenting the accident will help your insurance company determine the facts of what happened.

5. Talk to Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company as quickly as possible. It might even be a good idea to call them directly from the scene.

Remember to be completely honest about everything that happened during the car accident. You don’t want your claim to be denied.

You might need to document any medical treatment you get, too. The more information you have, the better.

Got into a Car Accident Today? Now You Know What to Do

Getting into a car wreck is definitely stressful. But if you had a car accident today, you’d know what to do thanks to our five easy steps.

Our guide takes the weight off of your shoulders during a difficult time. There’s no need to panic once you know what you need to do.

Want more guidance for your life on the road? Check out our travel blog for tips and trips to navigating wherever your life takes you!