According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 60 percent of motor vehicle accidents in the Golden State take place in Southern California. Thankfully, most car crashes don’t result in fatalities or major injuries. However, they tend to happen very frequently because of the heavy traffic volume and congestion SoCal is known for. Should you find yourself in an accident, here are the recommended steps you should follow.
Ensure Everyone Is Safe
The first step you should take is to consider anything else that could go wrong after an accident. Think of yourself, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Specifically, try to prevent further injuries and damages. If the accident took place on a dead man’s curve with low visibility, vehicles should be moved off the road or bright markers should be used to alert other drivers. If a car is on fire and there seems to be a fuel leak, everyone should evacuate to safety.
Address Serious Injuries and Medical Emergencies
Anyone who is bleeding profusely, unable to move, or in severe pain should receive immediate medical attention. When you call 911, report these conditions first.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
It’s always preferable to have an accident report written by a police officer. You may think a minor accident that only left scratches doesn’t merit getting the police involved, but there’s a legal requirement to report accidents when they take place on public roadways. If for some reason an officer cannot be dispatched to the location of the accident, find the closest precinct where you can file a report. Make sure to get a copy of the report or at least a reference number.
Use your smartphone camera to take photographs of the scene. You should capture images that show damages, injuries, tire marks, debris, license plates, and all vehicles involved. If you talked to other drivers or pedestrians who witnessed the accident, make notes about their statements.
Exchange Information with All Drivers Involved
You should give and receive the following pieces of information:
- Contact number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurer and policy number
- Vehicle description
- License plate number
For the most part, police officers who draft accident reports will collect the information above. Make sure to review your copy to ensure everything has been included.
Notify Your Insurer
It’s always a good idea to include the phone numbers of your auto insurance agent or company in your smartphone or written down on a card you keep in your vehicle. Having your insurance provider’s number handy allows you to contact them from the scene, and they may be able to send an adjuster or field investigator to initiate the claims process on your behalf. At Altra Insurance, a leading provider of auto insurance National City residents can count on, experts can also help you know you further options.
The above also applies if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. For reliable motorcycle insurance, National City families can reach out to Altra Insurance Services at (800) 719-9972. Call today to speak to one of our friendly agents and receive a free quote.