Car accidents: No one anticipates them, but everyone needs to be prepared for them, that’s why you take out car insurance.
What happens if you’re ever involved in a car accident? What should you do? Who do you call? What are the next steps in this shocking situation? Car insurance is only a passive (and important) action towards a fateful car accident, but learning what to do immediately after a car accident is an imperative behavior to learn – it could help save a life.
After a car accident injuries may be severe, and emotions are high, leaving us in panic mode, and unable to think straight. Minor or severe, the chances are that taking photos of the scene and remembering to get the other driver’s insurance information are not your first thoughts.
So what do you do next?
Step one: Stop and make sure that you, all drivers and passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident are okay.
Step two: Get medical help for anyone who needs it.
Step three: Call the police: If there’s any significant property damage, injury, or death, you need to ask for a police report to be filed at the scene.
Step four: Do not talk too much, do not apologise, and do not admit that you are in the wrong, even if you were. If you do, you may be admitting legal liability for what happened.
More importantly, after an accident it may not be clear who was really at fault.
Step five: As upset, or angry as you may be, try to keep as calm as possible.
Step six: Exchange information: Get the names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from every driver involved. If there are passengers, get their details too.
Step seven: Take photos, so that your insurer can see what happened, and get an idea of how the accident may have happened. Then talk to witnesses, and find out what they saw. Get their contact details too.
Remember to use caution when discussing the incident. Don’t talk to anyone about the accident, other than your lawyer, or insurance company.
Step eight: Inform your insurance company that you have been in a car accident. Cooperate with them and tell them the truth. Explain the facts as clearly as possible. If the insurance company finds out that you have lied, you could get into serious trouble, which may result in denial of coverage for the accident.
Understanding that accidents are unpredictable and that the even the most minor accident can leave the most experienced driver frazzled. These steps will help to protect you from unnecessary worries and will give your insurance company a detailed enough report to start processing your car accident as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Before getting back on the road, make sure that your car insurance covers you adequately. Make sure that your insurance plan fits your budget – and check every year. Most people don’t know it, but as your experience, age, driving behavior and living situation changes so does your premium. To instantly find car insurance that will fit your budget (and your individual insurance needs) click here.