While everyone hopes it never happens to them, unfortunately, vehicle accidents are a common occurrence. It’s estimated that over 15,000 accidents happen daily across the United States, accounting for everything from fender-benders to highway pile-ups. If you practice safe driving behaviors, wear your seat belt, and pay attention while driving, you lessen your risk of being in an accident or accident attorney case. Still, crashes do happen, and if you are involved in a car accident, you want to be prepared for what to do in the aftermath.
Move to Saftey
If at all possible, move your vehicle off to the side of the road or a safer location so you avoid causing additional traffic disruption. If it’s not possible to move the vehicle, and you are capable of exiting the car and are not seriously injured, move yourself to a safer place, such as off the road or on the shoulder. Make sure the engine is turned off and your hazard lights are on. Once you are safe, call 911.
Get Necessary Information
Whether it’s a fender-bender or a more serious crash, you will need to get the personal contact and insurance information of anyone else involved in the accident. Take photos of the damage to any vehicles. You will likely need to give your contact and insurance information to the other party involved.
Don’t admit fault, even if you believe you are responsible. Being polite but firm is ideal. It’s tough, especially with adrenaline pumping through your system from the shock. But if you readily admit fault without another witness on the scene, this could open you up to legal action later on if the other party chooses to pursue a case against you. Wait for the police and give your statement about what happened; you should be given contact information from the officer who can provide you with the report number for your insurance.
Notify Your Insurance Provider
Once you’re safely away from the accident site and you have the necessary information provided to you, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. If it’s not feasible to do it on the day of the accident, the next day is best. The sooner your insurance provider is made aware of what happened, the sooner they can assist you in filing your claims. Ask your agent what steps to take if you’re unsure.
Accidents are scary and the aftermath can seem overwhelming, but you won’t be alone in the process. Your insurance agent can assist you, and if you need an accident attorney, you can find one in your area to take your case.