In this article, we will cover some tips to manage a car accident in the event you find yourself unprepared. Although the process of every accident can vary drastically depending on its severity, you should always be aware of the processes of the parties involved in order to avoid making the situation worse. If the damage is obviously above $1000, the first step is always to remain calm and call the authorities on a respective emergency or non-emergency number depending on the severity.
Here are 6 simple things you can do after a car accident happens or before you experience one.
1. Stay Where The Accident Happened
When you're in a car accident, it's important for you to remember not to leave the scene until it's already cleared up by the police. The act of leaving the scene of the accident if you're the person who caused it may be interpreted as a hit-and-run. This is the last thing that you want to happen. You may be charged with a serious penalty if you so much as appear to be escaping the scene.
2. Check on The People in the Accident
Before you take into account the personal damage you caused, you should check on everyone in the car accident first. It may be necessary to acquire medical attention immediately by dialing 911, especially if a passenger or driver is unconscious or even just suffering a back or neck pain. It's also important to not move the injured if you have no expertise to do so. If you're unqualified, just wait for the medical professional to handle the situation, unless there's a risk of a hazard that requires the person to be moved away from the scene of the accident.
3. Contact the Police
The next step you should consider when you're in an accident is to contact the police. If there's a considerable damage, death or serious physical damage, only the police have the ability to create a detailed report of who's at fault and what repercussions to consider. Make sure you don't forget to get the names and the badge numbers of the officers responding to the call.
4. Get all the Contact Information
It's important to get all the numbers, addresses and drivers' licenses of all the parties involved in the accident. You should also make sure to get the basic insurance data of the drivers for a quicker way to process the police report. To avoid being confrontational with the drivers and to not cause a scene or trigger the emotions of the people involved, you may want to try your best to be polite and cordial
5. Talk to all the People who Witnessed the Accident
While this is usually done by Police, you should still try to gather information about the accident that comes directly from the actual witnesses. Acquire their names, addresses, and numbers. It's also important to give them a heads up about whether they saw another accident that took place near the area to avoid confusion during the investigation.
6. Process your Insurance Papers
It's important to inform your insurance company immediately after the accident. That way, they can process the papers to support the costs of your hospital bills immediately. Don't forget to prepare a story that narrates every single detail and fact in the accident you've been in. It's important to be transparent with the insurance firm. Otherwise, you could get in serious trouble. Things like lying to an insurance agent could cause you to get denied the coverage you deserve. It's also important that you obtain all the police reports filed for your case to know who among the concerned parties broke the law or who was really at fault.
- It's also necessary for you to take pictures of the scene to verify the facts that the police got and the witnesses. The pictures of your car before the accident and after it could help determine who is really at fault between the drivers.
- It's also important for you to remember to get an assessor or a Property Damage Evaluator to see if the insurance company is giving you the right assessment of the damage. If you're unsatisfied with the quotation given by the insurance company, you could also obtain more than two independent evaluators to assess the damage.
Samantha Tung is a contributing writer and media specialist for Caliber Collision. She often contributes content for a variety of car safety blogs.