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10 tips for “What to do at an accident scene”

Dec 13 2011

Wayne Texeira  Marketing Director, CFMP 

Even the most careful drivers can be in an accident. Because having an accident isn’t a common occurrence, you might forget the things you should and shouldn’t do if you’re in an accident. Here are actions you can take to make things go smoothly and facilitate the claims process.

Stay calm.  Getting upset only makes a bad situation more difficult. Maintain your composure even if the other person doesn’t.

Check for injuries and call the police. Even if the accident is minor call. Notify them of injuries so that they can call for medical assistance.

Don’t leave the scene of an accident. Even if the other driver says its okay, they could later file for injuries or you could be accused of a hit and run. Wait for the police to arrive as they provide an objective witness.

Don't move an injured person -- unless they are in immediate danger.

Try to protect the scene of the accident. Don’t move your vehicle unless it impedes traffic or it’s necessary to prevent further damage. Have a kit with emergency cones, triangles or flares.

Don't blame the accident on anyone -- including yourself. Even if you might be at fault, don’t say so to anyone. Give your full description of the accident only to the police officer.

Exchange information with the other driver. Take notes of:

  • the license plate number, make, model & color of other vehicles
  • names & addresses of all drivers/passengers
  • drivers license numbers
  • note if driver is different from vehicle owner
  • insurance company information
  • name and address of witnesses

Take photos. Use your cell phone to document the accident scene and damage to all vehicles.

Ask the officer where you can get a copy of the policy report.

If you hit an object or unattended vehicle, try to find the owner. If you can't, leave a note containing your name, address and phone number. Record the details of the accident.

Call us as soon as possible after an accident so that our Claims Team can assist you. Don’t assume we’ll find out another way. You can initiate your claim online at dfmurphy.com/claims. In an emergency call our 24 hours emergency hotline at 800 222 8711.

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