What You Should Do Following A Car Accident
Aside from being frightening, an accident can also be a costly experience with even minor fender benders being upsetting. However, it is possible to make the experience a lot easier if you’re aware of what to do next. This can be done by knowing how to behave properly following an accident, and by having insurance that will help to return things to normal.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
The most important thing is to ensure that everyone is safe. You should assess the scene to see if anyone is injured. The most important thing is to make sure that no one is going to receive additional injuries following the initial crash. You should check to see if people are in the way of traffic and if people are near any kind of hazards. This can include things like a fire or a downed power line.
This initial assessment will help you to determine what should be your actions regarding medical care.
Move To A Safe Area
You should then take some steps to ensure that no one else will get hurt. The biggest danger following an accident is the risk of being hit by traffic. You should try to move your car to a safe space such as the side of the road. You may even want to consider driving to a well-lit area.
If your car is not operational, you should take steps to make sure that everyone is safe from traffic. You could block off traffic, and you may want to enlist the help of other drivers to accomplish this.
Check On Others
You should now check to see if everyone is okay. This will allow you to determine if anyone is in need of medical care. You should call for an ambulance if anyone is injured.
Conclude Safety And Emergency Medical Issues
It is important to make sure that you make sure everyone is safe before you go forward with the claims process. This is because making sure everyone is okay is the responsibility of the people involved in the accident, and the process of filing a claim is something that doesn’t need to be done immediately.
Notice Everyone Involved
You should now take a minute to take stock of everyone involved. This will include the people in your car, the other car, and other people such as pedestrians. This will allow you to understand who saw the accident, and you can identify the parties who you will need to exchange insurance information with.
There is a danger of people fleeing the scene of an accident. You may want to take note of the license plate of the other vehicle. You will need to document the scene later. Now might be a good time to take a few quick pictures with your phone. Taking a photo of the other vehicle’s license plate can reduce the hassle involved with a claim if the other party happens to flee the scene.
Call The Police
You will need to call the police for every accident. You should cooperate with the police while using them as a resource to gather information about the accident. It is common for the police to not be able to make it out to the scene. This is common for minor accidents where no one is injured. You should make sure that the police confirm that they will not going to the scene. This will ensure that you do not get charged with fleeing the scene of an accident.
You should submit a car accident report with the local DMV office. You should do this quickly as it will make your claim process quicker.
You should now begin the process of gathering information. You should get use a pen and paper, the note app on your phone, and your phone’s camera for this.
You should gather information such as:
- The Other Driver’s Name And Passenger Names
- Their License Plate And Insurance Info
- Make And Model Of Vehicle
- Name And Contact Info On Any Witnesses
- Officer’s Name And Badger Number
- Street Address Of The Accident
- Direction Of Travel For All Vehicles
- Brief Description Of Accident
This information is the basis for starting your claim, and it can really reduce the amount of hassle involved with filing a claim.
These steps will also help your state of mind. Your goal should be to gather information for a claim, and you should not be interested in resolving the claim through an argument or negotiation with the other driver.
Document The Scene
You should now begin the process of documenting the scene with photos. You should take some photos of both vehicles, damage done to the vehicle, and shots that show their position in relation to each other.
Modern phones can take plenty of photos, and so you should try taking more photos than you think you’ll need. You should back up the photos as soon as you can. This will protect these important photographs. Many insurers offer apps that have a claims feature. These apps allow you to directly submit these photos to your insurance provider.
Contact Your Insurer
You should now call your insurance provider. You should do this at the scene of the accident as many insurers have representatives who can go to the scene to help you. They can also help with the process of arranging for roadside assistance. The insurer can help you save money on such things as having your car towed and finding a garage to store your car until you can find a mechanic.
What Not To Do
There are a number of things you should not do at the scene of an accident. This includes such things as admitting to fault or getting in a confrontation with the other driver.
Generally, you should follow this step by step process of resolving a claim. This will allow you to resolve your claim quickly while avoiding simplifying the process.
What You Should Do Before An Accident
There are four basic things you should do to prepare yourself for an accident. These four things are simple to do, and they should be able to help you even if you have gone years without being in an accident. These four things include:
- Packing A Safety Kit
- Having A Charged Cell Phone
- Having Important Documents On You
- Keeping Loose Items Stored Away
These four steps can greatly reduce the hassle of immediately dealing with an accident. Another way to reduce the hassle of filing a claim is to have a good insurance plan.
Why Having A Good Insurer Is Important
A good insurance policy with an insurance provider committed to excellent customer service can really help you after a car accident. There are a number of features you should look for in an auto insurance policy including:
- Roadside Assistance
- Accident Forgiveness
- Rental Car Assistance
- Claims Guarantee
These features can help you avoid having your rates go up following a car accident. It will also ensure that you have a rental car while your car is being repaired, and you can get help finding a tow truck for your vehicle.
You should also look at reviews of the company. This will allow you to know that they will be helpful through the difficult process of filing a claim and moving past an accident.