It’s no secret that absolutely no one wants to be in a car accident. It’s terrifying, dangerous, costs money and it often can put us into a difficult situation where other drivers may be angry or injured. In these kinds of situations, knowing what to do beforehand is a massive help, so we’ve put together a list of the most important things to do during an accident.
What to do if involved in a car accident
Try to get the car to a safe place
Maybe it seems obvious, but first be sure the car has stopped moving. Then be sure that the car will stay put, meaning, be sure to put it in park and maybe even pull the emergency brake. Further, be sure your car is in a place that it won’t get hit or continue to cause further harm to you or someone else. Obviously if you can’t move the car to a safe spot, do the best you can with what you have.
Take photos of the car’s location if possible before moving
If you are blocking traffic and you need to move the cars, consider taking photos of the cars and their positions and damage if possible before doing so. It’s awkward and potentially hard to do if you are injured, but it can help a lot with the claims, as photo evidence of the scene before moving is important. Consider asking someone nearby to take pictures and send to you or with your phone.
Check on everyone involved in the accident
If you are able, check on everyone involved in the accident including yourself, your passengers, the other driver and their passengers. Take note of anyone who is unconscious, or anyone who has serious injuries to give to emergency services when you call. This can be helpful with your insurance claim as well. However, be mindful of not placing blame or even accepting blame as that may be played against you later on in the claim process.
Call emergency services
Even if the accident is minor with no visible injuries, you should call emergency services anyway. Sometimes they will be able to come and do an investigation, other times they won’t but having a record of the accident from a third party may help your case and with the claims process later.
Exchange the relevant information
Be sure you exchange the relevant information including documentation on your car, your insurance card and any other information that is needed. You may want to limit the personal information you provide the other party as you won’t need to be contacting them, but will go through their insurance. The insurance will do the work as far as getting information from each party. Your privacy is still important. With this being said, be sure you gain as much information from witnesses, write down all facts and what you recall at this moment as your memory may fade and catching up with witnesses may no longer be available so capture what you can as soon as you are able.
Accept no fault
Again, we know it’s hard, but the most important thing you should remember is that you should not admit fault at the scene of an accident. This is the job of the insurance provider or law enforcement officers to determine the fault with the facts of the incident (again, which is why gathering all information is pertinent). Even if you are thinking the accident was your fault, or the other driver is yelling or blaming you, keep calm and do not admit fault.
No body wants to have an accident, and each one is different, but these tips will help you in the unlikely event that you do get involved in one regardless of whether you are the driver, passenger or even bystander. Knowing the general steps to follow helps take a lot of uncertainty out of the situation and will give you something to focus on until help arrives to take over. Stay calm, focus on not admitting fault, and document as much as you can to make the claims process much easier.
Contact your insurance agent as soon as you are able. Should you have a relationship with your insurance agent, they may be able to provide additional assistance and reassurance. Should you want to review your coverage regardless of your driving record, contact Burghardt Insurance Agency at (504) 608-3950.
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