What Should I Do After an Accident?
An auto accident is an inconvenience that we all hope to avoid, but sometime have to deal with. In addition to missing work or an important appointment, you are forced to deal with damages to your car, liability issues, and even injuries in some unfortunate cases. After you’ve been involved in an accident, there are steps you should take to ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of other drivers either involved in the wreck. It is crucial to make sure everything is properly documented for insurance and law enforcement reasons.
1. Move Your Vehicle to Safety
After a vehicle collision, if it’s safe to do so and if you’re not seriously injured, move your car to the shoulder of the road out of harm’s way. If moving your car isn’t possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2. Call The Police
Even if you might not think that it’s necessary at the time, filing a police report of the incident is a good way to protect yourself from possibly being sued later on for damages you may or may not have caused. Regardless of whether a wreck looks serious, you always have to stop, check on the other person involved, exchange insurance information and report it to law enforcement. Failing to do so can be considered a crime.
3. Exchange Information
-Full Name & Contact Information
-Insurance Company & Policy Number
-Driver’s License and License Plate Number
-Type, Color, and Model of vehicle
-Location of Accident
4. Document the Accident
Make sure to identify which Police Department the officer is from. You need to request a police report number of copy of the report from the officer. It is important to take pictures any vehicle damages and bodily injuries as a result of the incident. Last, obtain contact information from any witnesses.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
File a claim with your insurer. Your insurance agent can tell you exactly what they will need in order to process your claim. Make sure you register your insurance claim quickly because many insurance companies have time limits on when a claim can be filed. It is beneficial to know what your insurance covers ahead of time so that you can anticipate damage expenses, and how much you will have to pay out of pocket. It also helps to know whether your state laws assign “fault,” or liability, to one of the involved drivers.