Sometimes, even minor car accidents can end up being expensive. A fender-bender at low speed in traffic can lead to expensive car repair costs and having to use your car insurance coverage.
In all accidents, you should immediately take steps to protect yourself like moving to a safe place. Additionally, if you are not at fault, you will want to do everything you can to make sure you are not paying insurance deductibles and car repair bills that should be covered by the other person’s auto insurance policy.
Here are some steps you should take after a car accident, even if it’s not your fault.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, the first step is always to seek medical attention. Even if the accident is minor, you may want to have a physician check your neck and back for potential injury, as sometimes these types of injuries don’t begin to cause pain for several hours after an accident.
Get Driver and Witness Information
To protect yourself, make sure you take the time to get information from anyone involved in the accident or from any witnesses. Be sure to find out:
- Personal information of other drivers, including name, address and telephone number
- Insurance information of other drivers, including insurance company name and policy ID
- Statement and personal information of witnesses
Also, use your cell phone to take pictures as soon as possible after the accident. Accident scenes can change quickly, and a photograph may capture essential information in your favor.
Call the Police
Especially if you are not at fault, you will want the police to make a record of the accident. This can be very useful if you have trouble proving to the other driver’s insurance company that you are not at fault. Give your report to the police and make sure to get a copy for your own records.
Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible after your accident, contact your own insurance company. If you wait too long to report an accident, even if you are not at fault, you may put yourself in a position of being ineligible to collect damage payments. Some companies have provisions for not reporting an accident immediately.
Also, sometimes the other person’s insurance company will fight taking responsibility for the claims. By notifying your insurance company right away, you can make sure your company has all the information it needs to challenge the other insurance company.
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