Being involved in a car accident can be scary and confusing. There may be concerns about property damage or damage to the vehicles. If anyone involved is injured, it can provide an entirely new level of anxiety. After an accident, what happens next?
Try to Stay Calm
Traffic accidents occur every day, and it’s a rare situation to find a driver who has never gotten into an accident at some point in their driving history. When accidents happen, it’s essential to know what to do next. Most of all, remember not to panic. You can handle this.
Make Sure Everyone is Okay
Any injuries or health issues regarding drivers or passengers should be the first concern. If anyone in either vehicle is unconscious or in pain, this is an emergency, and 911 should be contacted as soon as possible so that an ambulance can be sent to the accident scene. The call to 911 will also alert the police, who will arrive on the scene to take statements and other information needed to create an accurate accident report.
If there are no injured parties, the next step is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. If the vehicle is not drivable and is a traffic hazard, it’s a good idea to alert other motorists to go around the accident. Doing so will help keep the flow of traffic moving. This can be accomplished by turning on the warning flashers.
Keep Yourself and Everyone Else Safe
Once everyone is out of harm’s way, take some pictures of the damage, if this can be done safely. These photos will come in handy when documenting the accident with the insurance company. Ideally, it’s great to have images from every angle that illustrate the entire scene, but this should only be attempted if it is safe to do so.
Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver will also be necessary. When you contact your insurance company to report the accident, they will need this information. You’ll want to ensure that both parties exchange names, contact numbers, and insurance information along with each other’s license numbers. The exact location of the accident and the make and model of each vehicle will also be needed later on.
After the police have arrived and taken down all of the initial information, you’ll want to ask how you can go about getting a copy of the accident report. This report will be vital to the insurance company’s investigation of the accident.
Contact the Insurance Company
When all immediate safety concerns have been addressed, a call to the insurance company should be next on the list. They will probably request the information collected up to this point as well as a copy of the police report once it’s available. The insurance company will then open its own investigation into the cause of the accident to determine fault.
An investigator from each insurance company will probably be in touch to obtain your statement. An adjuster from your insurance company will likely make arrangements to survey the vehicle damage. The investigation results will determine which driver is at fault and whose insurance policy will pay the claim.
Auto accidents are an everyday occurrence. When it does happen to you, try to stay calm and not become overly upset.
Photo is from Pixabay
Guest Author Bio
Michael Gibbens is a conversation copywriter living in Oregon with his two daughters. He enjoys writing on all topics and thrives in communication, legal, and marketing topics.
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