by: Alessandra de Faria –
So you are involved in a car accident. The damage is done, but what happens after the fact. Knowing what to do in a car accident will not only ensure you are legally protected, but also that you are covered by your insurer for damage and incidentals following the accident. So, what is the first thing you want to do? These are a few steps to take after an accident has occurred.
1. Call the police –
You have to report the accident. More often than not your first instinct is going to be to jump out of the car and argue; but, who does this help? Both sides are shaken up, and whether or not you are at fault, this is only going to cause problems for you in the long run. Call the police and wait for them to arrive before getting out of your car.
2. Move to a safe spot –
Move your car out of harm’s way, but don’t leave the scene of the accident. After assessing that everyone is okay and accounted for, if possible (and if you can safely move the car) drive to a location where you aren’t blocking traffic. Make sure you don’t leave the scene of the accident however, as this can result in more harm than good.
3. Call your insurer –
Report the accident. Make sure to give as much information as possible. The type of cars involved, license plate numbers, how the accident took place, if any injuries ensued, amount and type of damage, and so on. The more information you can give the insurer, the more likely it is all damage will be covered, and you won’t be paying anything out of pocket to cover that damage.
4. Swap information –
After the police have left the scene, you have assessed all damage to your car, and have made sure there are no serious injuries to report, trade information with the other driver. This will allow you to later call your insurer, and give additional information about the accident if required. Further, it ensures you are fully protected, and won’t have to cover damage costs out of pocket. Namely if you weren’t at fault, make sure you have all pertinent information relating to the accident, and the driver who was at fault.
Sure, there is damage to your car, property, and there might even be a few injuries you have to deal with. But, knowing what to do in a car accident, and following the fact, will help ensure you are fully covered and protected from having to deal with insurance hikes, or possibly losing coverage due to the fact that you didn’t report the claim to your insurer. The more information you can gather, and if you can find witnesses who were at the scene of the accident, the better off you are going to be when reporting the claim. Taking the right steps not only eliminates any legal repurcussions following an accident, but also the high cost of repairs and insurance hikes, for not taking appropriate steps in reporting the accident to your insurer in a timely fashion.
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