Auto accidents are unexpected and can be very stressful events that can often lead to many questions such as: Who do I call? Do I call the police? Do I call my family members? Should I leave my car? What do I do now?
The tips below can guide you through the most important decisions people often miss that are crucial to any accident.
• Check yourself for injuries: If you believe you may be injured, try to dial 911 or ask someone else to do so. Should you believe you're seriously injured try not to move, and stand by for emergency crews. If you're not too injured to move, check on your passengers if any.
• Move cars to a safe place, out of traffic: If your car is safe to drive and may be causing a hazard where it is, pull it to the side of the road. Otherwise, get yourself to safety and leave the vehicle as is and wait for help.
Notify Appropriate Parties
• Call the police: Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Keep in mind this applies even in minor fender-bender incidents. Calling the police is crucial, cooperating fully is essential. Avoid admitting fault or blaming other while at the scene. Let the police officer objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
• Notify your insurer: You may also want to make a call to your insurance company while you're at the scene. This way, they can tell you exactly what they will need to process your claim request.
Document the Accident
• Identify the officers: Once the police officers arrive, get the name and badge number of all responding officers.
• Request a copy: Ask the police officers who are present where a copy of the accident report can be obtained.
• Take Pictures: Take as many pictures as possible from different angles, clearly showing the damage done to both vehicles.
• Write down names: Write down all of the names and addresses of all the parties involved, including any passengers of any vehicles.
• Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident that occurred, take down as much information as you can such as their names, phone number, and address.
• Try to write down as much info as possible, including:
1) Driver and passenger names
2) License plate numbers
3) Insurance Information
4) Makes and models of all vehicles involved
5) Location of the accident
* Very Important - Consider Going to the Doctor
Although you may feel okay after the accident, you should take the risk of injury very seriously. At the time of the accident you may feel fine, but there are numerous underlining problems associated with car accidents that don't show symptoms immediately. The adrenaline along with the mixed emotions you may be going through at the moment can easily conceal the fact that you're hurt, so be sure to keep an eye out for any pain or stiffness as time passes.
An accident can happen at any given time even to the most seasoned expert drivers, however following these steps can help protect you against unnecessary worries and will give your insurance company the sufficient information required to start processing your claim as smoothly and as fast as possible.