You cannot control unfortunate things, and somehow, these things keep coming in your way as you progress no matter how carefully you operate. And some of these unfortunate things are car accidents.
Getting into car accidents is frustrating, plus the stress of dealing with an insurance company, repair centers, and other legal activities. However, with proper information and knowledge, you can dodge some of these challenges with ease.
In case of an auto collision, you might want to take specific actions to make sure others are safe, you are following the law, and getting started with the insurance claim process. In this blog, we have enlisted the top 7 steps to follow in such situations.
The below steps are according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), and it will help you to control the situation and guide you through the process irrespective of whether you are responsible for the accident or not.
Step 1: Check For Injuries.
Check yourself for injury after the accident. In case you are injured, call 911 or ask someone else for help. If the damage is severe, try to stay calm, not move, and wait for emergency help.
Step 2: Get To Safety.
If you can move, try to get to a sidewalk, or if your car is safe to drive, pull it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it at the spot and get yourself to safety.
Step 3: Call 911.
It doesn’t matter whether the collision is minor or a major; informing the police is necessary, and in some places, it is a mandated step. The responding officer will report the accident and document every detail provided by you. According to the III, if the police can’t come to you for some reason, you should go to the nearest police station and report for yourself.
It is also important because when you file a claim with your vehicle insurer, they may ask you to submit a police report copy for the claims process.
Step 4: Wait For Help.
After the accident, remember to turn on your hazard lights. Check for the road flares in your car emergency kit; if available, use it to alert other vehicles to slow down.
Step 5: Exchange Information.
According to III, exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver is the next important step after ensuring that you and other passengers are safe.
Here’s the list of information that drivers should exchange after an accident:
- Full name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Type, color, and model of vehicle
- Location of accident
Try to avoid discussing whose fault it was with the other driver at the time of the claim. Your insurance company will review the information and inspect the damaged vehicle and any other helping documentation, like the police report or photographs, and let you know whose fault it is.
Step 6: Document The Accident.
The III suggests taking the following steps to help and save yourself from any unwanted situations in the coming future.
- Note down the name and badge number of the responding officers as soon as the police arrive.
- Do not forget to copy the accident report from the police officer or ask them where to obtain it as it may require to file a car insurance claim.
- Taking pictures is the best way to document the scene so take photographs from all the vehicle-covering angles of the damage done to both cars. This will help you provide enough evidence during the process to help support your claim.
- Make sure you take down the names and addresses of parties involved in the accident. If available, take any other passenger’s information too as a witness.
Step 7: Notify Your Insurer To Start The Claims Process.
Informing your insurance agent can be the next thing while being present at the accident scene. It is helpful since they can tell you precisely what to do and what all documents and information they will need to process your claim, and what you can expect from it.
Meeting with an accident can disturb you in many ways, even if you are a seasoned driver. Still, the above steps can save you from unnecessary worries and let you concentrate on dealing with the insurance company so that you get your vehicle repaired quickly.