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Your First Car Accident

Car accidents are always scary, but after your first car accident, you might be especially traumatized. Regardless of whether you or the other driver caused the car accident, certain steps should be taken. If this is your first car accident and you need guidance, here are simple steps to get you through the process.

Decide Whether to Call the Police

Some people don’t want to involve the police after a car accident. The police can visit the scene, assign fault and then write a traffic citation. In the case of a minor fender bender, you and the other driver may decide to handle the situation without the police. This is your decision, but risky.

Always call the police if you estimate damages to be more than your deductible. A police report can come in handy if the other driver decides to change his story. If you decide to skip the police, get the other driver’s information. This includes his name, telephone number, driver’s license number and license plate number. Be sure to obtain his auto insurance information.

On the other hand, if the accident results in an injury, call 911. Dispatchers will send an ambulance, as well as a police officer to the scene. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s a good idea to get checked by a doctor. Some victims experience pain days after an accident. It’s important that you do not attempt to move an injured victim.

Document the Scene

If the police arrived at the scene, they will take notes and document the scene. However, you can record your own information for your records. The police report will have details about the accident, but you can also write these details on a scratched sheet of paper for your knowledge. Record details while they’re fresh in your mind.

Additionally, take multiple pictures of the scene. Photograph the actual accident, as well as damages to your car and the other driver’s car. Get the names and numbers of all witnesses. If you do not take your own information at the scene, you can contact the police department and request a copy of your report.

Call Your Insurance Company

As soon as you arrive at home or at work, contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. Whether you have 21st Century Auto Insurance or another insurance carrier, the sooner you report the accident, the sooner you can get your car fixed.

Provide your insurance company with as many details as possible. Take the name of the representative who assisted you, and keep a record of your claim number. Your insurance company will speak with the other driver, and then contact you with further direction.

Even if you are the safest driver on the road, a car accident can happen. Another driver’s negligence can trigger a collision, as well as your own carelessness. But regardless of who’s at fault, having a trusted insurance company on your side can result in an easy, straight-forward claim. The sooner your car is fixed, the sooner you can get back on the road.