Things To Do When You are in a Car Accident
If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you already know what a shocking event it is. An adrenaline rush and initial fear after such event, might prevent you from thinking clearly, even if nobody was injured and the property damage was minimum. Fortunately, the department of transportation has put together basic guidelines to follow in case of an automobile accident. Just by keeping these tips in mind, you?d be better prepared in case of an accident.
First, get any injured passengers and yourself to safety. If the car still works, turn on your blinker lights and pull over safely to the side of the road, preferably the right side of the road. If the car can?t be safely operated, you will want to put cones, blinker lights, and flares down the road to give the scene a wide safety buffer zone. There are car safety kits available in stores that include these items. Get a car safety kit and keep it in your car!
Second, after making sure the scene is safe, exchange information with other drivers. Resist the urge to make accusations at this point and don’t go into details about the accidents with the other driver: wait for the police to arrive to tell your side of the story. It is essential that you get the data you need so you can sort out the financial details later. The information that you need from the other driver is: driver’s name and license number, address, phone number, license plates, insurance company, and policy number. If you have a digital camera or camera phone available, take pictures of the scene of the accident to support your declaration of events to the police. If your mind is clear enough, write down precisely what happened.
Next, the police report. In the police report, you want to be as detailed as possible and include any pictures or diagrams to help recount the events. In many cases, drivers try to make a deal with the other driver, to prevent auto insurance rates from going up. You might be tempted to work out an independent deal with the other driver before the police arrive. The fact is that these types of arrangements rarely go as planned, because the other driver might give you wrong information, might dodge making payment for the damage later on, or might file her own insurance report without telling you. To protect yourself from very expensive auto repairs or sole liability, file a police report right at the moment of the accident.
It is useful to know what your auto insurance policy covers ahead of time. Different insurance companies require different steps to be followed immediately after an accident. In addition, it is useful to know what kind of services you can expect from the insurance company, such as paying for towing, a car loaner, etc. In general, fast filing and quick compliance will likely save you money later on.
Even though accident can happen any time and when least expected, being prepared ahead of time, secure the accident scene, and staying calm, are best practices to follow in a car accident. Planning for the uncertain with smart preventive measures can save you considerable headaches down the line.