If it's safe to do so and you aren't seriously injured, move your car out of further harm's way, like to the shoulder of the road. If moving your car just isn't possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Make sure your car is no longer moving, turn off the engine, shift into park, or set the handbrake if you drive a manual. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it's safe to get out of your car before opening the door. If you have flares or similar road safety items, consider using them.
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if anyone may be injured. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with one of our companies or any other company you might need to deal with in settling this accident and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, was at fault for the crash.If the police can't make it to the scene (which is more likely if there are no injuries), you can file an accident report through the Tennessee Department of Safety.
Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance info
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact info for any eyewitnesses
- Location of the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
Pictures, pictures, pictures! Pull out that smartphone and snap some photos of the accident scene from ALL angles. They'll come in handy during the claim process.At Benton White Insurance, you can file a claim from our website at http://bit.ly/BWIClaims. Some of our companies have mobile apps where you can file the claim from their mobile app and take pictures within the app to send.
We make it easy for you to get to us when you need to file a claim. You can use our online process mentioned above or call us at 615.377.1212 and we'll be ready to help make it easy for you. If you happen to need claim help after hours, all of our companies offer 24/7 claim filing service. That directory can be found here: http://bit.ly/CoClaimDir. If you don't remember who your insurance carrier is or forgot how to reach us, look on your auto ID card... the information is there!
- Pack a safety kit
- Keep important documents at the ready (ID, Auto Insurance Card ID, additional insurance company contact information, vehicle registration, health plan info, etc.)
- Have your phone on you and charged whenever you hit the road
- Keep loose items in the center console or glove box, and not on the seats, where they can get lost or fly around in an accident
No matter how clean your driving record, you never know when an accident can happen. You'll be glad you kept these 4 elements in mind if (and we do mean "if") you find yourself handling the aftermath of a crash.
If you have a question or we can help you in anyway, simply email us at info@BentonWhite.com or call our team at 615.377.1212
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