Being in an auto accident can be a scary thing – leaving you emotionally and mentally scattered to the point you may not know what to do. When living in a city the size of Houston, or even in the suburbs like Katy, Richmond, or Pearland, accidents happen every day – but not always to the other guy. Therefore, it has become a state law for minimum liability coverage in Texas. Even the cheapest of all insurance plans must meet those requirements.
Here are the seven things you need to make sure happens after an accident:
1. Be safe and move if possible
If there are no serious injuries and it is safe, move your car so that it is out of any further danger. If moving isn’t possible, turn your hazard lights on.
2. Stop and get out
Be sure your car isn’t rolling and shut off the engine, put it in park, and set the hand brake. Sit still for a moment and take a deep breath. Don’t just open the door and get out, look around to make sure you’re safe. If you have safety flares or cones, set them behind your car.
3. Check on the other vehicle involved
Once you know you and any occupants in your vehicle are okay, check on the other vehicles and any pedestrians in the area. If there are any injuries, do not move the victim, call 911.
4. Call the police
No matter how minor of an accident, you’ll need a police report. Even the cheapest auto insurance will need you to request this, whether the accident is yours or not. If the police won’t come to a non-injury accident, you can file a report with the DMV.
5. Gather information
Get as much of the following information as you can:
• Names of all persons involved
• The other car(s) license plate numbers
• The other driver’s insurance information
• The make and model of any car involved
• Name and number of any eyewitnesses
• The address and location of the accident
• The police officer’s name and badge number
6. Use your phone’s camera
Use the camera on your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene.
7. File an insurance claim
Call your insurance company as soon as possible and report the accident.