What to Do After a Car Accident

Immediately below is an Accident Checklist or “I Had a Car Accident, Now What?” Checklist.  Print it off and keep it in your glove box (along with a pen) to help you save time, money and a lot of headache after an automobile collision.

Car Accident Checklist

Before you have the opportunity to get into a collision, make sure that you have your Car Accident Checklist, a disposable camera, a pen, and a pad of paper in your glove box to document the damages to your vehicle.  Then you will be more prepared for when you get unexpectedly rear-ended in traffic or someone runs a red light and T‑bones your car.  After a car accident, you will be pretty shaken-up, but it is important to remember the SEPC steps to handling a collision.

Step 1) Stay Calm

This may be incredibly difficult, but will help you to assess the situation and find solutions to the problems at hand, instead of making things more complicated.  Take a few deep breaths, collect yourself, comfort others in the vehicle, and start thinking about what to do next.

Step 2) Emergencies First

Talk to everyone else involved, start with your vehicle.  Make sure that nobody is in immediate need of first aid.  If they are, call 911 and begin working to help the injured person/people.  Check your vehicle to make sure that there is no impending danger, like a fire, fuel leaks, or environmental hazards like downed power lines. This may involve moving your vehicle to a safer area; for example, if the car accident happens in the middle of the road, pull to the side to reduce the likelihood of additional collisions.  Check on the individuals in the other vehicle/vehicles as well.  Damage can be assessed later, but reducing injury is always the top priority.

Step 3) Pictures and Written Documentation

Once everyone is safe, begin taking pictures of the accident and damage.  Do this before anything gets moved by the police or other driver/passengers.   After you feel like you have taken plenty of pictures, take out your pen and paper and write down what happened.  Then talk to any witnesses to the car accident and get their names, numbers, and what they saw.  Talk to the other party as well, get their names, numbers, and their account of what happened.  Even if you don’t agree with their version of the story, it is more important to get their information than to argue.  Trade insurance information and then wait for the police.

Step 4) Cooperate with the Police

If you called the police after Step 1, they should arrive before or shortly after completing Step 3.  It is important to provide as much information as possible, continue to remain calm, and request an accident report.  It may feel like a lot of documentation, but it is important to be as thorough as possible.  It will make processing the insurance claim easier and ultimately more quickly in addition to providing a claim or defense during a lawsuit resulting from the car accident.

This list is also available on our website with some additional tips; you can read it by CLICKING HERE.  We have two offices located in Denver and Castle Rock for your convenience.  If you have any questions about your current auto insurance policy, bundling options, or if you need to make a claim; please call, email, or drop-in at either location listed below and one of our Insurance Specialists will gladly help you.

Denver Office                                                             Castle Rock Office
1735 E. 17th Ave. #3                                                    513 Wilcox St. #200
Denver, CO 80218                                                      Castle Rock, CO 80104
303–388-7216                                                 Phone: 303–688-1251
Email:                        Email: