How to Handle a Car Accident
Car accidents are frightening and can cause panic by those who were involved in the car accident or who witnessed the car accident. Many tend to get a rush of adrenaline when they are in a car accident and this can lead to shock and further mistakes. Here’s what to do
1. Is Everyone OK?Are all passengers OK and if they are hurt, call 911. This is important as immediate first aid may need to be given to stabilize the individual. Next, call the police. Even if you are involved in a minor accident, calling the police is extremely important as this will give an official report to give to your insurance company.
2. Move to safe areaMany accidents occur in the roadway and sometimes in heavy traffic. To ensure the safety of everyone involved in the accident and if the vehicle is still operational, try to move over to the side of the road (this is called the shoulder). Pull the vehicle all the way to the shoulder as much as possible to avoid getting hit by passing vehicles. If your vehicle is not operational, remain in your car and call 911.
3. Exchange insurance informationExchanging insurance information with those who were involved in the accident is important as the insurance companies will work together to make necessary repairs and medical payments. During this time, it is important to remain calm and not get upset at the others involved in the accident. Try to limit how much you interact with others as anything could possibly be used against you in court. Also, never admit guilt or blame to the other person as this means you could be responsible for the accident. Some important information to retrieve from the others involved in the accident are:
• Name and Insurance information
• Telephone number if they will provide it
• Photos of any damage
• Police officers name, phone number and police report number
• Personal notes of what happened
It is important to try and document the scene as much as possible. You can do this by using a smartphone if you have one to take pictures and record video and audio of the accident scene. You can also use a piece of paper and pen to draw a diagram of the accident scene if you have one available. If not, it is extremely important to contact the police apartment to have the accident scene documented.
4. File the claim with your insurance companyReach out to your auto insurance company to work out the details on what they will and will not cover. Although a small accident with minor damage may seem tempting to pay cash, please do not do this as you want everything documented and this is what the insurance company is for.