It doesn’t matter how great a defensive driver we are—at some point in our driving careers, we’re going to get in an accident. Auto accidents aren’t defined by that Hollywood movie still of a car careening over a hill and landing at the bottom of a ravine in a fiery blaze. An accident can be as simple as just barely hitting the vehicle ahead of us in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some collisions don’t even cause cosmetic damage to the cars involved. The thing is, an accident is still an accident, and all must be reported. Besides, we never know if the other person decides to sue us down the line for “mental anguish” or some other such reason. This is why we have auto insurance: to protect ourselves in these types of situations. To sign up for you auto policy, get your auto insurance quotes comparison online with CoverHound.
The First Steps
Let’s say you’ve been involved in a car accident, and you and the other driver pull over to the side of the road. First off, well done. The very first thing you should do after an auto accident is safely pull over to the side of the road or the shoulder. This will prevent you from obstructing traffic flow and causing another, bigger accident. Now, let’s go over the remaining steps you should follow when you find yourself the victim and/or cause of a traffic collision.
Who You Gonna Call?
After you’ve moved your vehicles to the side, call the police. Even if you believe you and the other motorist can take care of the situation, you will still want to call the police so that you can use the police report when you and/or the other driver files a claim with the insurance company. If there are no injuries, call the non-emergency hotline. If someone has been hurt, call 911.
Be as Detailed as Possible
When discussing the accident with the responding officer, be as honest and detailed about the circumstances of the collision as possible. Ury & Moskow LLC advise that if you do not remember or cannot accurately recall what happened, don’t lie. The law firm also advises that if asked if you are injured and you’re not sure (adrenaline from the accident may not cause you to feel pain right away) say you are not sure. If you respond with saying “no” and feel pain over the next couple of days, it’ll be more difficult for you to file a claim for medical expenses.
Document the Scene
To make sure the claims that are made by all parties after the accident are accurate, take pictures of the scene and the damage done to all vehicles involved. In documenting the accident and the damage of the vehicles, you are safeguarding yourself from false testimony. In 2012, auto claim fraud added up to between $5.6 and $7.7 billion in surplus overhead. You won’t want your premiums to skyrocket because of an immoral person trying to put one over on your insurance company.
As the responding officer is investigating the accident, exchange insurance information with all other motorists involved. You will want to make sure they have the insurance to cover the damages especially if they are the driver who caused the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the accident. Most auto insurance policies require that you inform your agent of the accident immediately so that you can get your claim started as soon as possible. Even if you did not cause the accident, you will want to notify your insurance agent of the collision should the other driver try to blame you for the accident.
Even when car accidents aren’t that bad, they’re still a pain to deal with. Getting an auto insurance policy from a reputable insurance company will ease the pain of the claims process. Click here to get started on your auto insurance policy with CoverHound.