An auto accident, no matter how minor, can be a jarring experience. It’s a moment when the unexpected can shake your world, causing damage to your vehicle or, even worse, injuries to you and your passengers. In the aftermath of such an event, knowing the right steps to take can make a significant difference in your ability to file a successful insurance claim. As your trusted insurance experts at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance, we’re here to guide you through the essential actions to take after an auto accident in New Hampshire.
Step One: Prioritize Safety and Well-being
Your safety and the safety of your passengers should always be the top priority. Here’s what to do:
Check for Injuries
Thoroughly assess yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Promptly summoning emergency services is crucial to ensure that help reaches the accident scene promptly.
Step Two: Move to a Safe Location
Depending on the severity of the accident, consider these options:
If it’s a minor fender-bender and your vehicle is drivable, move it to the side of the road to prevent further collisions. Safety first.
In more severe accidents where the vehicle is not drivable or the risk of further collisions is high, leave the vehicle in place and move yourself and passengers to the side of the road or sidewalk if possible.
Step Three: Stay Calm and Await Assistance
Emergency services or law enforcement may take some time to arrive. During this waiting period:
- Stay calm and try to reassure any injured individuals.
- Provide basic care to the injured, including applying pressure with a piece of clothing to bleeding wounds if needed.
Step Four: Exchange Information
Once everyone’s safety is ensured, you should exchange essential information with the other parties involved in the accident. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Insurance information: Share your insurance details with the other drivers involved, but avoid discussing fault or the accident’s specifics.
Step Five: Document the Scene
Your smartphone can be a valuable tool in documenting the accident scene. Take pictures of:
- The vehicles involved, showing the extent of the damage.
- Skid marks on the road, which can help establish what happened.
- License plates of all vehicles.
- Any visible injuries sustained by you or your passengers.
These images can serve as crucial evidence when filing an insurance claim.
Step Six: Gather Eyewitness Information
If there are witnesses who have stopped to help, gather their contact information. You may need their statements later when dealing with insurance companies.
Step Seven: Seek Medical Evaluation
After an auto accident, adrenaline can mask pain and discomfort. Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, it’s essential to undergo a full medical evaluation. Inform the medical professional that you were in an auto accident so that the necessary tests are performed and the information is correctly recorded in your medical records.
Personal Insurance: Your Lifeline After an Auto Accident
Recovery from injuries sustained in an auto accident can be a lengthy and painful process. While you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance, the settlement amount may not be sufficient, especially if your injuries affect your ability to work and earn a living. This is where your personal insurance policy can be a crucial lifeline.
How Personal Insurance Helps After an Auto Accident
The driver responsible for the collision may have the minimum insurance limits or, in some cases, may be uninsured or untraceable. Your personal insurance policy can step in to provide the financial support you need during your recovery.
Need Help with Personal Insurance?
If you don’t currently have personal insurance or would like to explore better policy options, our team of local insurance experts at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance is here to assist you. We understand the unique insurance needs of New Hampshire residents, and we can help you find the right coverage to protect you and your loved ones. Don’t wait until an accident happens – reach out to us today for expert guidance on securing the insurance coverage you need for peace of mind on the road.