Being involved in a car accident can be a scary experience. If it happens to you, it can be hard to focus on anything but the immediate aftermath. Of course, your first priority will be to make sure everyone is all right and get medical attention for any injuries. Once you’ve done that, the next steps should involve gathering information that will help you handle your insurance claim. Knowing what you should do before you are involved in an accident will ensure that you’re better prepared to take the right steps at a time when it’s hard to think clearly. This guide will help you get the right information at the right time, so you can worry less about your insurance and more about recovering from the accident. What to Do at the Accident Scene Making sure that everyone involved in an accident is uninjured should always be the first priority. It’s essential to call 911 right away if anyone is injured. What you may not know is that you can call 911 or emergency services even if there haven’t been any injuries. Often drivers will just exchange insurance information when no one needs medical attention — but having a police officer as a neutral third party to document the accident can help with your insurance claim, especially if the accident was not your fault. If it’s possible, take pictures at the accident scene of any damage to your vehicle, as well as any injuries that resulted from the accident. This type of immediate evidence will help to ensure that your claim is validated as fully as possible. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure you don’t leave the scene without insurance information from the other driver. When to Call Your Insurance Company If you’ve been in a car accident, don’t put off calling your insurance agent. You should make the call as soon as possible, right when you get home after the accident. If you need medical attention that isn’t immediately critical, you should call your insurance company to report the accident before you see your doctor. This will allow you to report additional information on medical expenses after your claim has already entered the processing phase and ensure faster claim settling. When you call, have your insurance policy on hand to refer to during the conversation. Be sure you understand the coverage and exclusion sections of your policy and take detailed notes of any communication you have with the insurance company; including the names, job titles, and contact information for everyone you speak with. What Not to Do When dealing with the insurance company, never give any recorded or written statements to an insurance agent or adjuster unless you’re sure you fully understand your policy. Refrain from signing any waivers or releases and remember that you don’t have to accept the first estimate or appraisal of damage your insurance company offers. This is especially important when discussing repairs to your vehicle. Keep in mind that while the insurance company will encourage, or possibly insist, that you use their contractor for repairs, you’re not obligated to use any certain garage or repair shop. Getting Back on Your Feet When you’re aware of the information you need to obtain in case of an accident, you’re more able to fully handle the situation and make sure your insurance claim is honored to the fullest extent possible. Never hesitate to ask questions, both at the scene of the accident and when dealing with your insurance company. You want to be dealt with fairly, so you can receive the compensation you’re entitled to and restore your life to normal. Whether your vehicle needs minor or major repairs after an accident, the choice of service providers is in your hands. Look for an auto body shop that specializes in collision repair and provides thorough, professional service. Cascade Collision works with all insurance companies and helps you every step of the way post-accident, from providing rental cars while your vehicle is out of commission, to frequent friendly updates on your auto repairs.