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Know What to Do If You’re in an Auto Accident

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Author: ARA

     (ARA) - No one wants to think about being in an auto accident. But even the safest drivers can be involved in an accident, and the fact is that if it happens to you, knowing what to do and being prepared will help you deal with an accident.

      "The best defense is a good offense so before you hit the road, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage," explained Jeff Beyer, senior vice president and chief communications officer of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. "Be sure to keep proof of insurance, along with the phone number of your agent or insurance company, in your car."

Farmers offers the following tips:

* If you are involved in an accident, the first consideration is safety. If you're on the highway, it could be dangerous to leave the car until law enforcement personnel can block traffic.

* You should call the police any time you are involved in an auto accident.

* If it's safe to get out of the car, check for injuries among your passengers and among other drivers and their passengers. Make sure everyone involved in the accident is OK. A person's well-being is much more important than damage to their vehicles.

* In the event of a minor fender bender, emergency medical care may not be necessary. But if there's any doubt, call 911 for medical help at once. A cell phone makes it easy to get the help you need quickly.

      Beyer offers further advice. "Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and license numbers of everyone involved in the accident. Keep a pad of paper and a pen or pencil in your glove box for emergencies. You'll also want to get the names and phone numbers of any passenger in the vehicles, as well as anyone who witnessed the accident."

      Write down a description of the other vehicles involved in the accident, as well as specifics regarding the damage to each vehicle. It is a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your car so you can photograph the exterior and interior of the vehicles involved in the accident. Try to get all angles -- front, back and sides.

      Record details about the accident, such as the location; note any special circumstances such as bad weather conditions or low visibility. "You may think you'll remember this information, but it's better to get the details down now while they're still fresh in your mind," says Beyer.

      "Finally, notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They will give you instructions on how to file a claim and any further steps you should take to deal with the accident," Beyer added.

      Farmers Insurance Group of Companies has a service called HelpPoint that not only speeds up the claims process but also assists customers who have just been through a crisis. "Clients call a toll-free number and reach a claims representative who will immediately start the claims process and get them whatever help they need -- such as a tow-truck or rental car," concluded Beyer.

      For more information on what to do in the event of a car accident, or for more information on HelpPoint, visit www.farmers.com or call (800) FARMERS.

Courtesy of ARA Content
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