When you have been involved in a car accident, it can be frightening, stressful, and confusing. Your adrenaline is rushing, and your brain is still trying to figure out what to do next. You need to do a few key things to ensure you and others are protected. There are many ways to avoid a car accident. However, once it happens, you need to know what to do and what questions to ask for your insurance claim. These tips offer you sound advice to keep you and your passengers safe as you manage the accident scene.
What To Do After a Car Accident?
If you are involved in an accident, you have a legal obligation to stop. Even if there is not any damage, you will need to pull over to inspect your car. Never drive away from the scene of an accident. If you are involved in a hit and run, you can be in trouble with law enforcement authorities by driving away. It is also important to never admit responsibility for the accident. Your insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and determine the fault. Since your insurance policy is a contract, your car insurance company does not want you to assume responsibility or liability under any circumstances.
Determine the Extent of Injuries or Damages
For those accidents with other cars or pedestrians, you need to check if anyone needs immediate medical care. You never want to move anyone from a car unless there is a chance the vehicle will catch on fire. It is better to wait for emergency personnel. You can stay with the accident victim until help arrives. Make sure you stay on the phone with emergency services and help direct them to the individuals who might need assistance. If the crash is severe, you might want to wait for the police or emergency services to come to the scene before you move any vehicles.
Move Away from Traffic
Once you have determined that everyone is safe, you might want to get away from the flow of traffic. If possible, you should move the cars to the shoulder or side of the road. If you cannot drive your vehicle, at least get yourself out of the traffic flow by exiting the car and moving to the side of the road. It is not unusual for secondary accidents to occur when disabled vehicles are blocking traffic. Unless someone needs immediate help, you should wait to make any phone calls until you are safely away from moving vehicles.
Contact Emergency Services
Even in a minor accident, you want to contact the police to get an official legal accident report. These official documents will be important when you need to make a claim with your insurance company. As soon as you are safely out of traffic, call 911 to get emergency services on the way. Don’t try to direct or block traffic as the authorities will take care of that when they arrive. The dispatcher will send EMS, police, and fire vehicles to deal with the crash scene. Although police may not determine fault at the scene, they will document everything and put it in a police report that can be turned over to your insurance company.
Limit Your Conversation With the Other Drivers
Since you do not want to admit any fault or liability, you need to limit your discussion of the accident. You should only talk about the accident to medical professionals, police, and your insurance representatives.
If another driver is involved in the collision, you must provide them with your insurance information. They must also provide you with their insurance. Before an accident, it is helpful to know what your insurance will cover should one occur with your vehicle. Some insurance companies have tow truck preferences, and you may need to reach out to them before calling a tow truck. Most insurance companies have 24-hour claims departments too. No matter what time of day or night the accident happens, you may be able to speak to someone at your insurance company.
Beware Of Unsolicited Towing Services
In some areas, tow trucks may appear at the scene before you have called your insurance’s preferred company. If this should happen, be careful as unscrupulous tow truck companies seek out car accidents to charge exorbitant fees. If you don’t recognize the company, inform them that you have already called a tow truck and thank them for their time. When your tow truck does arrive, ask them what the tow will cost and where they are taking your car. You will also want to know if there are fees to store your vehicle as you work through the insurance red tape. Request that they provide you with a receipt that indicates where the car will go and the tow costs. Once everything has been finalized, request a copy of an invoice to be sure you were charged properly.
Get All The Necessary Information
With the stress of a car accident, you need to understand what to do after a car crash. It is essential to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all those involved in the accident. You should note the description of the car and the license plate number for your records. However, the most important information is the insurance company information and the other car’s vehicle identification number. In most cases, the license plate numbers are not sufficient as insurance companies record the policy to the vehicle identification number.
Car Accident Information Checklist
If you want to file a proper insurance claim, you need to collect a little information about the incident, such as:
- Details about the accident
- Driver’s contact information
- Insurance policy details
Along with that, there are some other pieces of information that you need after a car crash.
Car Accident Form
If you want to be prepared for a car accident, then you may want to get an accident form from your local police station or DMV. Every state has a different format, and it is a good idea to take down as much information as possible. With these forms, you will be able to collect all the important information you need to make an insurance claim.
Ask for the Other Driver’s Information
You don’t want to talk about the accident with the other driver, but you can get their information for your records. You need the driver’s name, address, phone number, and additional contact information. The other driver’s insurance information is extremely important. In addition to their contact details, you should look at their insurance card. You will want to ask for the insurance company name and policy number. It is a good idea to write down the insurance company’s contact information.
Gather All the Details
After an accident, you need to record the description, make, model, and year of all the vehicles involved in an accident. You should note the date and time of the accident and the crash’s approximate address. Your notes should be as detailed as possible, and you will want to make notes of the direction of travel, a brief description of the accident, and the road conditions. Along with that, make sure to grab the witnesses’ names and contact information. Once a law enforcement official has arrived on the scene, you should ask for the name, badge number, and contact information of the responding officer.
Take Pictures of the Scene
Since many people have access to cameras on their mobile phones, you may want to consider taking photos. Many insurance companies have apps or emails where you can send those photos. These pictures can help you document any property damage, the cars’ position, the street addresses, and other pertinent information for your claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You have a lot of information to collect after an accident. Once you have made a police report, documented the scene, and collected the other driver’s information, you can call your insurance company. If there are no injuries, you may be able to contact the claims department from the scene. In some cases, a police officer might be able to talk to your insurance company and give more accurate information about the scene. However, you never want to rely on others to help with your claim.
Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me
It can be traumatizing to be involved in a car accident. First and foremost, you want to make sure everyone is safe after a vehicle crash. Once that has happened, you can start to collect information for your claim. Your insurance company will want you to get a professional inspection of your vehicle. After that has been completed, you will be able to have repairs completed at an experienced auto body shop.
At Elmer’s Auto Body, we can conduct an inspection and help bring your car back to its original condition. Our teams will use the latest technology to make your vehicle shine. If you want to schedule an appointment, give our office a call at (856) 218-0202.