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No one wants, predicts, or needs a car accident. Unfortunately they happen to almost everyone, whether it is through your fault or the other person’s. It can be scary, but after you’ve made sure everyone involved is ok, what should you do? If you’ve ever been involved in situations where its not clear whose fault it was, or insurance isn’t sure how to determine what it will cost you, its great to have some advice beforehand about what is a good, and not so good idea for handling an accident.

To be prepared

You might have heard that a camera is extremely helpful during an accident. Nowadays, almost everyone has a camera on their cell phone (and usually a pretty good one!). Having a car charger to make sure that you can keep your phone charged is a great idea, and in case of loss of power, a portable charger can come in handy. If you have a camera that you can view pictures on, that works as well.

As you know already, it’s important to always have your license and registration on hand. If you don’t, you can receive a citation should the police be necessary to call. Its also helpful to have a pen and paper in your car, as you’re probably going to need to exchange information with the other driver.

This may be something that sounds obvious, however isn’t the first thing you’d think to throw in your trunk, but a first aid kit can be extremely important in case of emergency. If you are in a fender bender versus a major accident with potential scrapes and cuts (for you, passengers, or the other person) you will want to have a first aid kit handy. You never know what kind of weather, time of day, climate, or dangers you may end up exposed to as a result of an accident, so its always best to be prepared with a blanket and a flashlight.

What to do

First things first, stop your car! Always make sure that you stop and check in with the other person driving. You don’t want to be the person who hits and runs. Not only can this result in major consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life (depending on the severity of the damage) but it’s just not the right thing to do. Be a good citizen and stop!

The next thing you’ll want to do is to check on the other person. Are they ok? Then call the police and report the accident. The last thing you want to do is not report an accident to your and find out that the other person did, and now you are the one being judged at fault. Besides that, if anyone sustained any injuries, you’ll want to call the police for medical assistance. The other hopefully unlikely scenario is that the other person says that they won’t report anything, but then does report you as a hit and run. In this case, you could be arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident. It is always best to report accidents to the police, who will inquire about personal injuries, and make a detailed report about who said what. Make sure you protect yourself. Make sure you also report the accident to your insurance company. The sooner you file a report with them, the sooner they can help cover the damages, if any, to your car. If you do unfortunately end up in an accident and you’re not sure where to take your car to address the damage, you can always give us a call at Charles County Auto Body and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have; you can also schedule an appointment here: