Things to Do After Getting Involved in a Car Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 6 million accidents occur in the U.S annually. Whether a person has been involved in a minor or severe collision, they may be too traumatized to think clearly. Therefore, it is essential to educate yourself to know what to do and to do it correctly. It would help if you took the following actions after getting involved in a car accident.
Check Whether Anyone is Hurt
It is crucial to always remain at the accident scene, even if it is minor. Since your priority should be safety, other things can wait. It is the responsibility of every party to ensure that everyone is okay. If someone needs medical help, request it immediately.
Ensure Yourself and the Vehicle are out of Danger
If you get involved in a minor accident, and luckily there are no injuries, drive your car off the road to avoid impending traffic. However, the vehicles should remain at the accident scene if someone gets hurt or if the accident is severe. It is essential to observe safety while getting out of the car, especially if the accident happened on a busy street or highway. This prevents you from getting involved in another accident, since you may not be thinking clearly.
Call the Police
Although it is crucial to report an accident, the police may not respond to a minor one. This is because some police departments are shifting to online reporting. When the police arrive, they take down crucial information, including their badge, name, and contacts. You should also obtain a copy of the accident report issued by the police. However, you can request this copy from the law enforcement offices or your insurance company if the police fail to come.
Rather than the police details, it is also crucial to obtain other essential details, including the address, name, contact, and the driver’s license of the parties involved in the accident. If the driver’s name doesn’t correspond to the insurance papers or vehicle’s registration, determine their link with the car’s owner. Besides, avoid sharing your coverage limits, Social Security number, and other personal details.
Document the Accident Scene
After getting involved in an accident, it is advisable to record as much information as possible through your smartphone’s camera, voice memo, and video features. This entails checking the accident impact on cars and taking full and close-up photos of the damage. It is also essential to record the time and date of the accident. Other essential details to note are the street names and directions to which the vehicles were heading and property damage. You can also consider sketching a diagram of the accident scene. It is advisable to avoid a roadside deal. Besides, the situation may call for police intervention. You should also ask yourself for some basic traffic rules to know if you are at fault. For instance, is brake checking illegal?
Contact Your Insurance Company
Although you may be tempted to make a roadside agreement to avoid making an insurance claim, failure to notify your insurance provider can make you liable for other damages. If the other person’s insurance cannot cover the damages sustained, you should consult your insurance expert to help you examine the available options. For instance, if your insurance company thinks that you were not at fault, it may offer a liability waiver to allow you not to pay your deductibles. Notably, many insurance companies provide virtual tools like mobile phone apps to start the process online. If your vehicle sustained severe damage, call a tow truck.
Getting involved in an accident can be a traumatic experience. It is essential to understand the right action since handling the matter inappropriately may cause more harm.