With so many millions of vehicles on the road, there’s no escaping the fact some of them will collide. People have auto accidents for various reasons, the main causes being driver error. Other causes might be down to problems with the vehicle, such as faulty brakes or a tire blowout.
It would be nice if you could guarantee that you’d never have any auto accidents in your car. But, that’s just something you cannot foresee. In fact, no-one can!
If you never had a car accident before, would you know what to do if it happened to you? Chances are you won’t. Today’s blog post is for you! Here are the steps you need to know to deal with an auto accident:
Make sure everyone is OK (including you)
Before you do anything, you first need to assess the scene. If there are any injured people, you need to request medical help. That way, people that may have injuries can get treated sooner. And, you have the potential to help to save their lives in more serious accidents.
Report the accident
Even if you’ve had a minor collision with someone, you should still report the accident. Did you know that, in some states, it’s an offense not to do so?
So, what happens if you don’t report an auto accident? In states where it is mandatory, you might be the recipient of a misdemeanor. And if someone dies at the scene, that will get upgraded to a felony charge!
Calling 911 from your cell phone at the scene is the best way to report the accident.
When the police arrive on the scene, they will start to assess the accident and make a report. Meanwhile, you should be gathering proof of your own. Why? Because you’ll need it to deal with insurance claims.
First of all, you need to take some photos of the accident scene. Be sure to include pictures of damage to vehicles including your car. Take wide images from afar to show the location of each vehicle on the road.
Last, but not least, write down a detailed account of your version of events. You can do that either at the scene or as soon as you get home. It’s crucial to do so while the accident is still fresh in your mind.
Get a copy of the police report
No doubt the officers attending the scene will question you to establish what happened. Make sure you answer their questions to the best of your knowledge. When they’re done filling in their report, ask for a copy of it.
Your insurance company will need to see that copy of the police report when dealing with your claim. At this stage, you should consider hiring a defense attorney for car accidents. That’s because there’s a likelihood one of the other parties may sue you. Don’t assume your insurance claim will go smooth!
Note down witness details
Were there any witnesses at the scene? If so, ask them for their name and contact details. Your insurance company will want to ask them some questions about the accident at a later stage.
Get your vehicle towed away and contact the insurance company
The last step, assuming you don’t need to go to hospital, is to get your vehicle towed from the scene. The process usually happens when you phone your insurance company while you’re there. They can arrange for a tow truck to be with you soon.
Hopefully, you won’t need to use the information in this blog post. But, it’s good to know what to do in case you do get involved in an auto accident.