Maintain composure, watch your step, and gather the information you’ll need to file an insurance claim.
Every year, there are more than 10 million collisions involving cars and other light trucks in the United States. Even being involved in a minor accident may be a nerve-wracking experience, which is why it is essential to be aware of the procedures that need to be taken when an accident has occurred.
When dealing with an accident, the first step is to get to the location of the incident and make sure that everyone involved is okay. This seven-step advice can be of assistance to you in the event that you are ever involved in an automobile accident; however, we sincerely hope that this will never happen to you.
- Being involved in an automobile accident can be unsettling; therefore, it is essential to know in advance what actions you should take in the event that it does occur.
- Car insurance is intended to protect your finances in the event that you are involved in a collision.
- If you’ve just been in an accident, the first thing you should do is check to see if anyone was hurt, and then see if you can get your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Keep your cool.
Maintaining composure will make it much simpler to deal with the accident and the events that followed it.
- Make Sure There Are No Injuries
Make sure you and any other passengers in your vehicle haven’t sustained any obvious injuries. If it looks that someone has been injured, either in your vehicle or in another vehicle involved in the collision, either dial 911 yourself or ask someone else to do so on your behalf. If you have suffered a serious injury, you should make every effort to remain still until medical assistance arrives.
- Move your vehicle off the road immediately.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you remove any obstructions from the roadway if it is safe to do so.
If you have the ability to do so, safely move your vehicle to the shoulder so that it is out of the way of oncoming traffic. In the event that an accident takes place during the night, you should switch on the hazard lights of your vehicle so that other vehicles can see you.
If you are unable to relocate your car, you should move yourself and anyone else who was involved in the collision to a location that is out of the way of the road.
When there has been an accident, it can be helpful to have a kit on hand that includes flares or reflective triangles to direct traffic around the scene.
- Make sure neither of the vehicles has been damaged.
Take the time to evaluate the damage done to the automobiles, assuming that you are not hurt and that you are able to do so. You should make an effort to take pictures of the damage that has been done to each vehicle, as well as the position of the cars, if they have not been relocated. If you are unable to take photographs, you might want to consider creating a diagram to illustrate how the accident took place while the details are still clear in your mind.
- Notify the Relevant Authorities About the Accident
The Insurance Information Institute suggests that law enforcement be called to the scene of the accident in the event that it was a significant collision. You can ask for a copy of the accident report that the police will prepare and use it to file a claim with your insurance company.
- Communicate with the other driver and exchange information
After an accident, you may be required to provide different types of information with the other motorist depending on the rules in your state. You will at the very least need to give each other your names and your insurance information. You could, however, try to acquire other helpful information, such as the following:
- The number of the other driver in the vehicle
- The make and model of the car that the other driver was operating.
- The names and contact information of anybody who saw the accident and can attest to its occurrence.
- The names, badge numbers, and contact information for any and all law enforcement personnel who arrive at the site of the accident.
- Make a decision regarding whether or not to submit an insurance claim.
Auto insurance is designed to protect your finances in the event that you are involved in a collision with another vehicle. You are required to carry minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, unless you live in New Hampshire, where there is no such requirement.3 (And the state of New Hampshire advises residents to have it with them at all times.)
If you are found to be at fault in an accident, the purpose of either of these liability coverages is to compensate the other driver and any passengers that person was transporting.
The collision coverage of your insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle, and if you have medical payments coverage or personal injury protection coverage, either of those can assist in covering the costs of any injuries you receive and may incur as a result of an accident. Your standard health insurance coverage will be of assistance as well.
The following factors can influence whether or not it makes sense to bring a claim:
Who was to blame, if anyone?
- The level of damage that was sustained by the vehicles of each individual driver
- Whether there were any injuries, whether they were minor or major.
- What kind of insurance do you have and how much coverage do you have?
- What kind of car insurance the other motorist has and how much coverage they have
If you are considering making a claim on your insurance policy, you should get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as you can following the accident.
When you file a claim with an insurance company, they will walk you through their specific process, which will include a list of the information they require from you.
You should be prepared to provide whatever paperwork that you have, such as a copy of the police report, photos, and the other driver’s details, and you should be ready to do it immediately.
Your insurance company will appoint an adjuster to handle your claim. This individual will evaluate any injuries or damages that have occurred and calculate the amount that the insurance company will pay out to cover the claim.
After submitting a claim for insurance, you should be ready to pay the deductible that is associated with your policy. Before any repairs can be completed or claims can be paid out, the deductible may be demanded by some insurance companies and must be paid by the policyholder.
What not to do in the wake of an automobile crash
After a car accident, it is crucial to know what actions you should take, but it is equally as critical to know what actions you should not take.
The following are some of the most common errors that should be avoided in the event that you are involved in an accident:
- You must not attempt to flee the scene.
A criminal accusation may be brought against a person if they flee the scene of an accident.
- Do not confess your wrongdoing.
When you are exchanging information with the other motorist, you should be careful not to say anything that could be misunderstood as an admission of guilt on your side.
- Refrain from assigning fault.
You should also refrain from blaming the other driver for the accident or accusing them of being the cause of the collision. It is up to the authorities and each of your insurance providers to figure out how to handle this situation.
- Don’t go into a conversation with an adjuster unprepared.
After the collision, it is possible that an insurance adjuster from either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will contact you to request a statement. You shouldn’t talk to the adjuster until you’ve given some thought to how your words might influence any personal injury claims that might come up in connection with the accident.
Last but not least, after any claims for damages from an accident have been settled, you should remember to check your auto insurance prices. There is a possibility, but it is not a certain that you will see an increase in your premiums.
In the event that your premiums do go higher as a result of an accident, you might want to investigate the insurance policies offered by other businesses to see if you can locate one with more favourable terms.