If you’ve never been in a car accident before, it can be jarring at first to know how to handle it. Even those who have been there and done that may wonder if they handled it correctly. Here’s a play-by-play of what to do when you’ve been in a car accident in Austin:
Who To Call? If anyone is injured, calling 911 should be your first step. Next, you’ll want to call the police for an accident report. In Austin, an officer may not be dispatched if nobody is injured. However, you should still call, even if it’s just the non-emergency number. The more documentation you can have the better, even if it’s just a fender bender. You may be asked to fill out a self-reporting accident form also known as the “Texas blue form.”
While You Wait Don’t leave before getting the 5 Ws - who, what, when, where, and why. Take lots of pictures of the damage, skid marks, nearby landmarks - everything you can to paint a detailed picture. You and the other driver should exchange: thorough contact information, licenses, license numbers, cars’ makes models and years; and detailed insurance policy information. Next, make sure you get the names and detailed contact information of any passengers in the car and any witnesses.
Final Steps When the police officer arrives, be sure to get his name, department name, badge number, phone number, and the police report number. Finally, go to the doctor as soon as you can if you experience any pain.