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What To Do if You've Been in a Car Accident

It’s a gut-wrenching feeling when you’ve just been in a car accident; sitting behind the wheel as what happened starts to sink in. The feeling would get even worse if you had to sit there, knowing you were unprepared – whether because you weren’t sure of the next steps to take or you didn’t have all the supplies you needed.

Luckily, you’ve not been in a car accident just now. You’re safely reading this post, which has everything you need to know and do, just in case.

Before the Accident
  • Keep your critical, relevant documents (registration, proof of insurance, your agent's contact information) in your car. It's also a good idea to document and carry your family’s important medical information (such as allergies, doctors’ information) should you or someone else in your car require medical attention.

  • Be emergency ready: pack flares and/or orange cones in your trunk so that other drivers can easily see you – for other ideas of supplies to pack, see our emergency kit.

  • Make sure you have the right auto coverage to fit your needs – you should review your policy once a year to see if you qualify for additional discounts or can get better rates.

  • Print out cards with your contact information to make it make easier to exchange information with another driver or the owner of the damaged property. The cards should include:

    • Your full name and contact information

    • Insurance company and policy number

    • Driver’s license number

    • Type, color, and model of your vehicle

    • License plate number

Curious about what rates and discounts you could qualify for? Give us a call at (860) 785-4854.

After the Accident
  • Always check yourself for injuries first, and then your passengers: If anyone in your car is injured, immediately call 911. Remember, for serious injuries, keep calm and try not to move; wait for emergency responders.

  • Get everyone to safety:

    • If your car is causing a hazard where it is and is safe to drive, pull it to the side of the road. Only to the side of the road – do not leave the scene of the accident. Otherwise, leave your car where it is, turn the engine off and turn on your hazard lights.

    • If you must leave your car in a hazardous position but can get yourselves to a safe area, do so.

    • If it’s nighttime or there is poor visibility due to adverse weather conditions and you can safely set up reflectors or roadside flares, do so as well.

  • Report the accident to the police: It is mandatory to report a car accident in Connecticut:

    • When an accident results in property damage, you are required to stop and provide the owner of the property that was damaged with your name, address, driver’s license number and registration information. If you are unable to provide the information (for example, if you hit a vehicle that was unoccupied) you must report the incident to the police. However, you do not necessarily need to call the police to the accident.

    • When an accident results in minor or serious injuries, you are required to stop, first provide reasonable assistance, and then provide your contact information. You are also required to report the accident to the police ASAP.

  • Exchange information with the other driver, police and/or owner of the damaged property. Particularly when you are not the driver at fault, make sure you receive the same information that you provide them.

  • Document the accident for your records and to provide your insurance company:

    • Keep a copy of the accident report from the police.

    • Take pictures of the accident from different angles, including the damage to both the car(s) and/or other property.

  • Notify your insurance company and start the claims process: If there are no injures, call your agent (like us!) while waiting for the police to arrive; that way you’ll make sure you have everything you need before you leave the scene

Nobody ever wants to be in a car accident, but in a country with more than 6 million passenger car accidents every year, chances are you or someone you know will end up in an accident at some point. Our goal is to help you respond to an accident safely, and with confidence, so that you can get past it as smoothly as possible.

Worried about your coverage or replacement costs if you do end up in an accident? Give us a call at (860) 785-4854.


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