What to Do When You're Involved in a Car Accident
With an increasing amount of vehicles on the road every year, there is always a risk of being involved in a traffic accident. Knowing what to do and being prepared in advance will help you avoid costly mistakes and avoid any issues. Here are our top 5 things you should do when involved in a car accident.
Turn off Your Vehicle
Being involved in a car accident can leave you shaking and scattered. The absolute first thing you should always remember to do is to turn off your vehicle and remove your key. When you leave you engine running, flammable liquids may leak and electrical sparks may trigger a fire.
Check and help the injured
Check on the well-being of yourself and your passengers. When safe to do so, check on the well-being of the other parties involved as well. Relocate yourself and others to the side of the road or somewhere safe away from the scene of the accident.
When to Involve the Police
Immediately call 911 if you or anyone involved is injured. It is the law to call the police for accidents that involve injuries. If you are unable to call, have someone call for you. If you are seriously injured, wait for emergency personnel to arrive. It is recommended to call the police even if there are no injuries.
Collect Information and Evidence
Collect the names, addresses, telephone numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle registration information and driver’s license numbers from all drivers involved. In addition, make sure to obtain the insurance company and insurance policy number from all drivers involved.
If you have a camera, take as many photo and video evidence as possible of damaged property including your vehicle and other vehicles involved. Also, be sure to obtain the contact information and statements of any potential witnesses. If there are witnesses, have them sign and date any written statement.
To summarize, here’s a list of everything you will need to obtain:
☑ Driver’s license, license plate number, and vehicle registration of all parties involved.
☑ Full name and contact info of all parties involved, including addresses and telephone numbers.
☑ Note the date, time and location.
☑ Obtain the insurance company and insurance policy number from all parties involved.
☑ Get a copy of the accident report from the police.
☑ Take plenty of photos and videos as evidence. Be sure to include all property and vehicles as part of the evidence.
☑ Include witness statements and contact info if possible.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
Driving without insurance is illegal in most states. When you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, chances are you will most likely have to turn to your insurance company to cover your damages or you will have to sue the other driver for damages. Consult your state law for more information.
Start the Claims Process with Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurer and start the claims process immediately. You may want to consider calling your insurance agent at the scene so they can walk you through the entire process. Provide as much information as possible including all of your evidence you have gathered and submit it to your insurer. This can include pictures, videos and even dash cam videos.
Additional things to consider
Understand your Insurance Policy
Be familiar with your automobile insurance policy so that you understand what is covered and what is not when filing a claim. Before you purchase an insurance policy, it is important to review and understand what your insurance covers, the deductibles that go with it and the policy limits.
Do I Need To Report the Accident to My Insurance?
If the damage is minor and there are no injuries, you and the other party may agree to settle damages between each other. Not reporting an accident can be beneficial when the repairs do not exceed the deductible.
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