For many people experiencing a car accident, especially for the first time, it can be new territory and a little perplexing to know what to do beyond making sure everyone is okay. Here are some ideas to consider if you have injury from a car accident.
- Make sure that you and everyone else in your car are unharmed. Take a second to breathe and focus.
- Perform a quick assessment of the damage inside and outside the car. Is there a fire, ice, fluid leaks, additional oncoming traffic, or other hazards to consider before leaving your vehicle?
- If you decide to leave your vehicle, it is not necessary to talk to the other driver, regardless of their behavior. Especially watch your words and never admit blame.
- In a minor collision, and if both parties agree, a police officer doesn’t need to come to the scene. You can file a report with your department as soon as possible and contact your insurance to make a claim.
- If the accident is major, for example, if a tow truck will be needed to remove vehicles, an ambulance is needed, or the other party becomes angry or violently focused on calling and making you and your passengers a safe place.
- If your car needs a tow truck, call your insurance accident hotline and ask for a recommendation from a company they commonly work with so you know the cost will be covered.
- Take pictures of the damage and write down the events as you remember them as soon as possible. This will help with insurance claims and help you keep events in order as your adrenaline rushes from an accident. Write down the street names, what you were doing, and catalogue the damage to both cars. Photos are very helpful.
- When the police officer arrives, remember to treat him as your ally. Have your insurance card and driver’s license handy. If you are having difficulty keeping track of your insurance card, your insurance provider may have an app that helps you easily access your account number and claims department so that you always have it close at hand. Answer their questions calmly and truthfully without accusations. They are trained to handle situations and have experience in reconstructing the facts of the accident.
- Let him know which way you were heading, if there were any red/green lights or stop signs or other signs. Mention any injuries to you or your passengers. Make statements only about your side of the situation and do not make assumptions about the other driver.
- There is no need for the other driver to contact you once you have decided to let the insurance company take care of it. That’s what you pay them for. They will handle the claim, repair payments, and any other complaints filed by the other party.
- There are several different types of insurance claims.
The no-fault claim means that you repair your car through one of the auto shops that the insurance company uses. That way, you won’t have to pay out of pocket (and your deductible will often be reimbursed).
Fault claims mean that you were responsible for the accident and your insurance company will continue to pay for your and other people’s repairs, but your deductible will not be recovered and your premiums will most likely go up.
A total loss claim is when your vehicle is damaged beyond repair or the cost of repair is too high. You will receive a check from your insurance for the determined amount of the car’s value. Be sure to read more of our helpful tips and tricks online!