Being prepared to handle the aftermath of the situation can help alleviate the stress.

Here are a few simple steps to follow. First, stay calm. Call the police and give the exact location of the accident and advise if medical help is needed. Then, if your vehicle is not heavily damaged, move it and yourself to a safe location away from traffic.

Once you are safe, contact your insurance agent. They will advise you on collecting the information you need and starting the claims process. Record the facts about the accident. These will be important in determining fault and settling your claim. Take note of all vehicles involved in the accident including make and model and license plate numbers. Describe the damage to each and, if possible, take photos. Record the names of the other drivers and gather their contact information.

Exchange insurance information with the other drivers including the name and telephone number of your insurance company, but do not provide specific information about your coverage. Gather contact information from any witnesses to the accident, including passengers in the other vehicles.

Also take notes of any property damage caused by the accident and get photos, if possible. Most importantly, do not admit fault. Whether you caused the accident or not, statements made now could be used against you later.

Just stick to the facts. Remember, your insurance agent and your company claim representatives are there to guide you every step of the way from reporting and settling the claim to repairing the damage.

Their job is to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

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