If you find yourself in a car accident, here’s what to do to protect yourself and make sure that everything gets taken care of.
Be Prepared. Always carry a cell-phone with you when you’re driving, as well as ak it that includes a pen and paper to take notes with, a disposable camera to take pictures of the vehicle with, and a car that contains any information that a doctor would need if he or she were to treat you, this includes diseases, conditions, allergies, and the like.
Know Your Insurance Policy. If you get in an accident, the insurance process will be much easier if you know exactly what’s covered in your policy and what’s not. You don’t want to wait until after the accident to find out that your policy doesn’t cover the cost of towing or the cost of a rental car.
Stay Safe. If you get in an accident, move the cars to the side of the road out of the way of any oncoming traffic, as long as there are no serious injuries. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drives, and if you have warning triangles or cones, make use of them!
Report the Accident. Even if it’s a minor accident, you should still call the police and have them come and file an accident report. In some states, police won’t come if there’s no injured parties, in which case you should hit up the DMV and file an accident report. In some states you can even file an accident report online.
Trade Information. Get the other person’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number. Also take down a description of each car, including its year, make, model and color, in addition to the location of the collision, how it happened, and the extent of the damage. Be polite, but don’t admit fault to the other person or the police officer, even if you think the accident may have been your fault.
Document the Evidence. Write down a description of the damage to each of the vehicles, and take photos of the damage that occurred. This will be very useful for your claims adjuster and if there’s any sort of dispute.
Contact Your Insurance Company. Within one business day of the accident, you should have called your insurance company and informed them about the accident. They’ll undoubtedly have questions and will provide you details of the process required to take care of your claim.
Getting in a car accident can be an emotionally frightening experience, but keep a cool head, and follow these steps to take care of things. It might even be a good idea to print a copy of this article and throw it in your glove compartment.