When it comes to car accidents, it can be helpful to hope for the best and plan for the worst. No person wants to be in one, but they can happen at any time and accepting this is important (though don’t let it cause stress). The best thing you can do is to be prepared in advance, just in case of the unexpected. Let’s take a look at the following steps you should take care of if you are involved in a car accident.
Check Yourself and Your Passengers
First thing’s first: are you okay? Can you move? Do you feel comfortable leaving the car? Are there any other cars currently on the road, and are there any other immediate threats? If not, then immediately proceed to check on anyone else in the vehicle with you. If you or anyone else is hurt even mildly, call 911 without hesitation. Even if it’s for something minor, emergency services need to check everyone over to ensure there is no hidden damage or undetected trauma.
Make Sure the Other Driver is Not in Immediate Danger
Is the other driver okay as well? Do they require immediate medical help? Even if they are clearly the cause, they are still people. You can deal with “who did what” later. What matters right now is that everyone is safe and cared for. Again, if anyone is hurt in any way, contact 911 and don’t delay.
Do Not Admit Fault, Accept Money on the Spot, or Agree to Leave police or Insurance Out of it
Do not say you are sorry, even if you are just trying to be polite. Do not admit any amount of fault, and never accept money from the other driver on the spot. They may secretly be recording audio or video not only from their phone but a dashcam or other hidden technology. You cannot afford to take chances. In addition, do not agree to leave the cops or insurance out of this, as this is a tactic many negligent drivers employ to escape prosecution and racking up demerit points. Doing any of these ill-advised things can open you up and make you liable, even if you are not the cause.
Take Photos of the Crash Scene
Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries (if applicable) on your smartphone. If possible, email the photos to yourself in case anything happens to your phone. It’s absolutely crucial that you do this as soon as possible, ideally before the police or a tow truck arrives, as sometimes evidence can be tampered with (even intentionally, in some cases). You should also ensure the other driver(s) involved do not move a single piece of debris. Everyone should be off the road and standing away from the wrecked vehicles involved, the exception being those injured who need to be attended to and can’t be freed just yet.
Request Relevant Information from Other Drivers Involved
Next, get out your phone or a piece of paper and writing utensil of any kind. Request information about the other driver including their driver’s license number, their insurance information, and their license plate. In addition, make sure you get down their full, legal name. Do not skip over any of these as this information is crucial in aiding police and insurance provider investigations.
Take Down the Information of People Who Witnessed the Accident
Was anyone else in the area when the accident took place, and did they see anything happen at all? If so, locate them and try to ensure they stop to speak with you before they leave, as many flee the scene out of fear. Simply approach in a calm, polite manner and ask if they’d be comfortable acting as witnesses to what happened. Always double-check their full name and contact details, as they may be required later to prove what happened or provide a statement.
Contact Your Insurance Broker as Soon as You Can
If everyone involved in the accident is being attended to and emergency services are on site, get in contact with your insurance provider as soon as you can. Insurance brokers are excellent in these situations and are on your side to guide you through the process of making a claim. They are not here to make things more difficult but to rather calm and assure you that you’ll be looked after – they know all too well that a vehicle accident is a stressful enough situation as it is!
Keep All Receipts
Make sure you keep documented records and receipts of everything related to the accident. These include everything from the repair bill on your car to any medical expenses you may incur, not to mention lost hours of employment or expenses tied to complications faced by others in your vehicle.
Being a careful and considerate driver is not enough to avoid an accident. Nothing is, in fact, which is why having a proper automotive insurance policy active with all the essential features is a must nowadays. This is where we come in, and we’re happy to assist through friendly, informed service that will ensure peace of mind. Contact your broker at Rowat Insurance to learn more, or request a quote today.