Millions of car accidents occur each year. Some are minor, while others lead to significant damage and severe medical problems. It’s best to remain calm after the accident to avoid a panic attack or a confrontation. Below are some tips you should follow after getting in a car accident.
Check on the Other Driver & Any Passengers
If you’re not hurt, the first step is to verify the other driver and any passengers are okay. After checking on the individuals in your car and ensuring the location is safe, you can then get out and ask the other driver if he or she is okay. However, if the accident has taken place on a busy street or a highway, it may be too dangerous to get out of the vehicle, so you should wait until law enforcement or other authorities arrive on the scene. If anyone in either of the vehicles is hurt, call for medical assistance immediately.
Contact the Police
Even though police in some areas don’t always respond to minor car accidents, it’s necessary to contact them. When the officers arrive, they’ll examine the scene and take statements from both drivers, any passengers, and witnesses who were in the vicinity. You’ll need to obtain a copy of the police report when filing a claim with your insurance provider. Some people hit vehicles and drive away before the police arrive, which is why you should always write down the license plate number of the other car. If you can get the name of the other driver before he or she flees, record this information to share with the police and your insurance company. However, never get into an argument or put yourself or your passengers in harm’s way.
Use Your Camera
Noticing all the damage to your vehicle may be challenging, especially if you’ve suffered injuries such as vision loss or limited mobility. However, if you have a camera phone, it’s crucial to take photos of your vehicle, the other car involved in the accident, and the area surrounding the scene. These pictures can capture damage to a car that you and the officers might miss, and they could be used as evidence if an insurance provider denies your claim. In addition to taking close-up photos of the vehicles, you should record the time, date, and location of the accident and the names of all drivers and passengers.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After the police have arrived and you’ve contacted medical providers and towing services as necessary, it’s essential to notify your car insurance provider of the accident. Some drivers may try to offer cash to avoid filing a claim out of fear of increased premiums and penalties on their driving records. However, this is illegal. Always notify your insurance company when an accident occurs, regardless of how minor the incident may be. Keep in mind that some damages go unnoticed. If you fail to inform your provider at the time of the accident and take a cash payment, you could be financially responsible for any long-term damage the accident causes.
If you’re in any kind of vehicle accident, the most important thing is to make sure everyone is safe and gets medical attention right away if it’s needed. Then follow the other steps listed above to make sure legal requirements are met and your interests are protected. If you need affordable, reliable auto insurance, reach out to the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. We also offer several other types of insurance, including homeowners, renters, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents should call us today at 800-719-9972.