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What to do when you've just been in a car accident.

Updated on November 22, 2010

Accidents happen. It is an all but certain fact that everyone gets into a fender bender now and again while driving. The experience can be very disorienting and without a good plan of action, you may make some mistakes and fail to get important information from the other driver. This information is vital for insurance claims and police reports. By copying down this checklist and keeping it in your glove box or wallet, you can be ready at a moments notice to handle this stressful situation.

First and foremost, get help if anyone is injured. Call 911 immediately if there are injuries. Bruising, whiplash, and other injuries can surface days after the accident occurs. It is a very good idea to visit your doctor if you are in pain even if it has been days since the accident happened.

Second important step is to call the police. You will need to file a police report and if you don't do this in the first 24 hours, you will have to go to the police department to file the report. If your vehicle is not in driving condition after the accident, getting to the police station can be a hassle.

You need to collect the following information from the driver of the other vehicle. It is very important that you collect as much of this information as possible, as the more incomplete the harder of a time you'll have when dealing with your insurance company.

From their Driver's License:

Driver's Name

Date of Birth

License #

Address

Description of Driver

From their Insurance Policy:

Name of Insurance Company

Policy Number

License plate #

Make of Vehicle

Model of Vehicle

Year of Vehicle

From your Observations:

Description of Vehicle (color, condition, accessories: camper shell, spoiler, etc.)

Total number of passengers in other vehicle

Description of other passengers

Also important:

Phone number of driver

Phone number of any witnesses

Take pictures of all damage to all vehicles

By collecting the above information and passing it along to your insurance company, you can make this stressful situation much more manageable and get on with your life.

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