The following is a guest post.
Have you ever been in an accident? Most of us will be shaken up after an accident and the aftermath can be much more difficult if you don’t know what to do. I’ll never forget the time another driver hit my car on the freeway. Even if you have never been in an accident, you should have an auto insurance policy. It’s the law in most states. However, having an insurance policy isn’t enough because you also need to know what to do after a car accident.
First of all, if anyone is injured, you need to call 911. Even a small accident can leave injuries so you might want to see your doctor if you feel any aches and pain over the next few days. If it’s a small accident with no injury, then move the vehicles to the side of the road. The police probably won’t come out for a minor fender bender, but you should call them once you are in a safe spot. Filing a police report will help protect you from potential liability claims and lawsuits.
Don’t admit fault
It’s best to limit your interaction with the other driver. The key here is to keep silence until your wit returns. Don’t admit fault even if you think you caused the accident. Don’t talk to anyone about how the accident happened. If it’s a big accident, wait for the police to arrive before talking to anyone. You can tell the other driver that you are shaken up and need a little time to rest. Let the insurance companies work it out. If you admit fault, then it will be difficult for your insurance company to avoid paying for the accident and this will raise your insurance payment.
You will need to gather some information from the other party. Even if you just see a small ding, you should get all of this information just in case the other party decides to file a report.
- License numbers
- Make, model, and year of the vehicles
- Insurance company information
- Note weather and road conditions
- Record the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses
If you have a camera or cell phone with you, then take a few photos.
- Accident location
- People in the accident
File your claim
It’s best to call your insurance company as soon as you can and start a claim. Don’t wait on this.
It’s the end of the year and there are many crazy drivers on the road. Please drive carefully and avoid alcohol if you have to drive. It’s difficult to think straight after an accident, but if you are prepared, it will be easier to deal with. Print out a check list and put it with your insurance information so you won’t be at a loss. Even before an accident, it is helpful to check your insurance company’s website for accident claims advice. They are there to help you and that’s what you are paying them for.