It can be very helpful to know what to do if you have an auto accident, before you actually have an accident. When an accident occurs, it can be stressful and chaotic, so having a sense of the most important things to do will help you protect yourself.
Generally, here are some must-dos to remember:
Get to Safety
The first and foremost thing to do is to make sure you are in a safe place and out of danger from further injury. If you must, and if you are able, move your vehicle to the side of the roadway. If you can take pictures safely, do so before you move your car to document its position.
Seek Medical Help If Needed
If you are injured, seek and accept medical help. If others are with you who are not injured, they can handle taking pictures or seeking witnesses.
Make sure you take down the information of the other driver or drivers who were involved in the accident. Take pictures of the scene and talk to any witnesses. Be sure to also get contact information of witnesses.
Report to Police
Report the accident to the police. Though it may be tempting to not report minor accidents to the police, there is very good reason to do so, which we will discuss below.
Report to Insurance Company
Finally, after you have taken photos of your vehicle damage (and damage to the other vehicles if possible), exchanged information with drivers and witnesses, and contacted the police, be sure to contact your insurance company. Delaying the report can lead to issues with approval of your claim.
Why You Should Report Your Accident
It may be tempting, especially for minor accidents, to not report them to the police or your insurance company. However, it can be risky to try and go it alone after an accident, especially if there is another driver involved in the incident.
If you simply trust the other driver, you may get burned. They may give you false information or may not pay out of pocket when they said they would. If you have not reported the accident, you will be out of luck as you have no authority to hold them accountable.
Additionally, the immediate damage of the accident may seem minor, but often turns into something bigger and more expensive upon closer look. If you haven’t reported the incident and then days or weeks later you realize there is more damage than you thought, the insurance company will be skeptical about when and where the damage occurred and you will be at risk of having your claim denied.
In addition, if the other driver makes a claim and you have not reported the accident to your insurance company, you could then be liable to pay the other driver’s damages as well. You have an obligation to your insurance company to notify them of the incident so they can investigate the claim and defend against the other driver’s insurance company.
Before an accident, make sure you are protected by having the right coverage. To compare quotes, use the InsuranceWins fast and easy form to find the best policy for you, at the best price.