What To Do In Case of a Car Accident
Preparing for an accident feels like something that will ‘never happen to you’; but when you’re in the middle of the highway, you’ll wish you did your homework. Whether it’s a fender bender or a major crash, car accidents are always nerve-wracking and never expected. Being in an accident is scary, stressful and upsetting. In the best scenario, there are no injuries, but you’ll still have so much to worry about. Who do you call? Do you always call the police? Who cleans up the debris? What kind of details should you get?
Do you have all the information you need in the event of an accident? Do you know the standard procedures and what to do after a car accident? Here are some things to keep in mind in case it happens to you.
Here’s What to Do In a Car Accident
You should always have the following information in your car, just in case:
- Drivers License
- Vehicle Registration
- Insurance Card
- Health Insurance Card
- Emergency Contact numbers
It’s illegal to drive without your driving license. Even if you’re running up to the grocery store or even picking up your kid from school, it pays to take your driving license with you. Like we said, car accidents are unpredictable, so you want to make sure you’re always prepared.
So that’s it, you’ve got your license and registration, your health insurance details and your car insurance information. You’re prepared, then bam – you’ve been hit. What now?
When an Accident Happens
If it is a minor accident and no one is harmed, you should move your vehicle to the shoulder or off the road to avoid causing a backup. If there is a question of who is at fault, leave your car where it is and relocate yourself to the shoulder or sidewalk for safety. If you are injured or don’t think you should move, stay where you are and call 911 if you’re able.
No matter how small the accident, you should call your insurance company while you are on the scene to report it. You should also call the police. It is important to have a police record of the incident. A police officer will be able to collect statements, talk to witnesses and guide you through the process.
You should not discuss fault or insurance coverage details with the other driver. It’s a cliche, but never say you’re sorry. You don’t want to admit fault or get yourself into trouble. Once you’ve made you and your car safe, go and speak to the other people involved.
Information You Should Exchange With The Other Driver
It’s important to get all of the information you need to file a claim while you are on the scene. Here are the pieces of information you will need from the other driver:
- Full name and contact information
- Insurance company information
- License plate number
- Type, color and model of the vehicle
- The location of the accident
- Full names and phone numbers of any witnesses
Make sure you take lots of pictures and even a video. Think about things that may have contributed to the accident. Was the yield sign worn? Was the sunshine bright? Was there a tree that was blocking your view? Any of these things can help to corroborate your story and explain why an accident may have happened. Don’t forget to also write down plenty of information from the other driver and any quotes from witnesses.
What if the other driver flees the scene?
In the event of a hit and run, remain calm. Try to get as much information as you can about the car that hit you: license plate number, make, model and color of the car, as well as any other details that might help the police locate the driver.
You should also look for witnesses of the hit and run and collect their names and contact information. Finally, call both your insurance company and the police to file a claim.
What If You Are On Foot Or On a Bicycle?
If a motorist hits you while on foot or bicycle, you should first call 911 – you’ve just been hit by a car. While you may not feel it right away, you could be seriously injured depending on the incident.
Next, get to a safe place and wait for the police and medics to arrive on the scene. While waiting, make sure to get the motorist’s name, contact information and insurance contact information. If you are too injured to do so, ask a friend (if someone is with you), or the police officer on the scene to get the information for you.
Automobile accidents are scary, and the insurance claims aftermath can be almost as scary. Make sure you have an excellent insurance policy with good coverage to cover you whatever you encounter on the roads. You can easily compare coverages, limits, companies and prices on compare.com.