09 Aug What to do after a car accident
What to Do at the Scene of a car Accident
After an automobile accident, emotions are often running high and the people involved can be seriously injured. At that time, it’s easy for a person to forget about the things they should and shouldn’t do. For instance, they may accept that accident occurred because of their own mistake. This statement of theirs can be used against them by insurers to deny their claim.
No matter how bad the accident is, there are a few important things you should do to make your case strong in the event your car is damaged or you or other passengers in your vehicle are injured and you need to file a claim. In this post, we’ll enunciate a few things you should do at the scene of a car accident.
1. Stop the Car
Remember that once the car accident has occurred, you must stop your vehicle. The law requires the driver of any motor vehicle including a car, motorcycle, truck or semi-truck to stop immediately if a person has sustained an injury or is killed or if the vehicle or property is damaged. You should stop the car anyway even if these two criteria aren’t met. The reason is that if you don’t stop and flee from the scene, the police will assume that accident occurred because of your negligence.
If your vehicle is operable, you should pull over close to the accident scene without impeding the flow of traffic. Hazard lights should be turned on to alert other drivers. If your vehicle isn’t operable, you’ll have no choice but to leave it there until a tow truck arrives.
2. Check for Injuries
Once you have stopped your vehicle, assess the condition of yourself, other passengers in your car and the passengers of the other vehicle. Someone may be seriously injured and may need immediate medical assistance. Therefore, it is important to check for injuries. Even if the accident seems minor, do check for injuries just to make sure everyone is safe.
3. Call 911
If the car accident is serious and you or other passengers have sustained injuries, immediately call 911. Tell them the location of the incident and the extent of injuries. Emergency medical attention can often prove to be life-saving in these situations.
4. Call the Police
Call the police and report the accident. Let them know if anyone has gotten injured. Tell them your name and the location of the accident. The reason it’s important to call the police after an accident is because a police report is often required when filing an insurance claim. When the police arrive, cooperate with the officer and answer all their questions truthfully. However, don’t admit that the accident occurred because of your negligence.
5. Record Evidence
Recording evidence is essential if you want to file an insurance claim after the accident. Once you have called 911 and the police, you should start recording evidence. The more information you collect, the stronger your case will be. Collect the name, contact number, address and driver’s license number of all parties involved in the accident. Also gather information about the vehicles involved in the accident like their registration, model and color.
If there are witnesses who saw the accident, ask for their name and phone number. They may prove to be helpful later.
Use your smartphone to record photographic evidence. Take pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident and the scene before conditions change. Take picture of the damage to your own vehicle as you may need them when you are filing an auto insurance claim.
6. Note Things Around the Scene
Note if there are any cameras that may have recorded the accident. Video evidence can prove to be extremely helpful in proving an insurance claim. Also, note the weather conditions and the condition of the road and take pictures if there are dangerous hazards like an oil spill that may have caused the collision.
7. Don’t Leave the Scene
Don’t leave the scene even if you collide with something stationary like a pole or an unattended vehicle. If you crash into an unattended vehicle, wait for the owner of the car to arrive. If you can’t wait, then attach a note with your name and phone number.
8. Call the Insurance Company
Once you have recorded all the details of the accident, call your insurance company and let them know of the accident. Answer all the questions and provide them the details you collected. Tell them everything truthfully and don’t misrepresent the facts. Lying to your insurer will make your claim weak and if the details you provided don’t match with those collected by the insurance agent, your insurance company will reject your claim. Ask an attorney for advice if you are unsure about what you must say to the insurance company when filing a claim.
9. Don’t Apologize or Accept Your Fault
At the scene of the accident — when emotions are running high — you may feel concerned about the other party and think that the accident occurred because of your own mistake. However, don’t let your emotions control your actions. Keep a firm grip over yourself and don’t accept your fault even if it’s obvious that the accident occurred because of your mistake. Don’t discuss the accident with any parties involved.
Call the Tom B. Kirkbride – Don’t Go it Alone, Get Tom’s Team on Your Side 833 TOM – 2 – WIN | (833) 866-2946 The Call is Free / You Need Tom on Your Side!
Getting involved in a car accident can be a chaotic experience and nerves can jangle when you suddenly crash. However, remember that if you want to file an insurance claim, you must do the things highlighted above. By doing these things at the scene of an accident, you can make your case stronger in the event you need to file an insurance claim.