Steps To Take After An Auto Accident
Life is full of surprises; good and bad both. You surely honk your horn when something comes in front of your car but incoming troubles never honk the horn. One minute you are taking out your car from the parking space and the next minute you hear the unlucky sound of “BOOM”. The minutes after an auto accident are stressful and confusing; your brain clouding with dozens of questions about what to do now?
It is important to know that the steps you take after being involved in an accident as they play significant role to protect yourself and in determining the value of settlement that you will receive from an insurance company. Therefore, here are a few keys things you need to adhere after an auto accident.
Step 1: Check Yourself And Your Passengers For Injuries
Primary action to take after an auto accident or collision is to check yourself and other passengers in your car for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured and need urgent medical help, seek medical help straightaway through phone or ask a passerby to call for help.
If no one requires any emergency medical care then if your car is safe to drive pull it out of traffic, park it to the side of the road, else leave it where it is with the hazard lights on and move yourself to the side of the road. After that, ensue to the following steps.
Step 2: Call The Police
Whether the accident is a minor bumper to bumper collision or a major accident, bringing in the police and filing a legal accident report is important. By doing this, you will be doing yourself a favor because police is professional in providing an unbiased report of the accident which can be helpful in settling the outcome of your claim.
Step 3: Gather The Facts Of Your Car Accident
While you are waiting for police to arrive at the scene, do your best in collecting information as much as possible. This information comes to your aid when filing a claim for any property loss or body injury. This includes:
- Taking pictures: It is of the utmost importance to document the accident carefully by taking photos of:
- Damage to all vehicles (interior and exterior) involved in the accident from different angles.
- The scene where the accident took place.
- Your body injuries including cut and bruises
- Any debris on the road caused by your auto accident.
Doing this is useful for you because a picture speaks better than words therefore, you will be more persuasive in negotiating with your insurer if you have pictures relevant to the accident scene.
- Talking to witnesses: If there were any bystanders who witnessed the accident, then take down their names, contact information, and address as they can serve as neutral witnesses in your case.
Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company And File Your Claim
While you are at the scene, call your insurance company and notify them about the accident. From there your insurance company will fill you in all the information about how to file your claim after an accident and then you can follow up to make your claim.
Remember! Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. The very purpose of this act is to obtain evidence from you and to use it against you in the future.
Step 5: Collect Information About The Other Party
This is the most important step to take after an auto accident which is often neglected due to the hassle of the accident. Gather as much basic information as you can of everyone involved in the accident. Get the other driver’s:
- Full name
- Contact information and address.
- Vehicle description (color, model, etc.)
- Driver’s vehicle registration number.
- License plate number.
- Insurance company name and policy number.
Step 6: Limit Your Discussion With The Other Party
It is best to make small talk with the parties involved in the accident or other parties and never admit complete responsibility for the accident, even if you feel like you were at fault. Remember you don’t know the person/persons you are dealing with at the event of an accident hence; your job is to gather the facts and discuss the accident details with police, medical authorities, and your insurance representative.
No matter how skillful or careful driver you are, an accident event makes a person weary and stressful. However, sticking to these steps may help you against unnecessary concerns so that you can protect yourself and get your insurance company to repair your vehicle smoothly and swiftly.