What to do after an Accident
Ensure the Safety of Personnel and Bystanders
The first step in responding to any incident involving bodily injury or property damage is to confirm that the scene is safe. If possible, do the following immediately upon approaching the scene:
- post someone near the scene to alert passing vehicles or pedestrians that an unsafe condition exists, and to direct emergency vehicles that may arrive;
- evacuate the immediate area of all but absolutely essential personnel;
- notify police and/or fire and rescue at the earliest possible opportunity; and
- if question regarding electrical shock exist, cut power to the affected area.
Ensure the Safety of Injured Persons
After the area is secure, assess the safety of injured parties, keeping in mind the following guidelines:
- if an injured person is unconscious and is not subject to surrounding conditions that could result in additional injury or death, wait for emergency personnel – DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE THEM;
- if an injured person is unconscious and is threatened by surrounding conditions, attempt to move that person as little as possible, keeping his or her head, neck and spine as immobile as possible;
- if an injured person is conscious and can move, encourage him or her to move to a safer location; and
- contact paramedics at the earliest possible opportunity.
Minimize Additional Property Damage
If the area is secure and injured parties are safe, take measures to minimize the potential for additional property damage, but only if doing so poses no risk to your safety. Examples include:
- if involved in an automobile accident, move vehicle just enough to avoid causing additional accidents;
- if damage to premises occurs, remove personal property from the premises to prevent further damage (i.e., taking files or computers from the premises);
- take measures to reduce additional damage to property (i.e., boarding windows or covering property with a tarp or plastic);
- contract with cleanup specialists to remove standing water; and
- take measures to restrict access to the damaged property (i.e., replacing broken door locks or windows).
Document Bodily Injury or Property Damage
At the earliest possible time, document the information regarding the scene as thoroughly as possible, including:
- photographs of damaged property and accident surroundings;
- obtain personal information of involved parties such as witnesses and injured persons, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance policy information, if necessary; and
- develop a list of property damaged and/or persons injured.
Report Bodily Injury or Property Damage Immediately
At the earliest possible time, please report the occurrence directly to your insurance company, or to IRMS using our Claims Reporting webpage or by calling your Client Service Manager.