Statistics show that about 6 million car accidents occur in the United States of America each year. That is so baffling, right? With such statistics, it is always good to know how to respond in the event your car gets into an accident or when involved in an accident in any other vehicle. Car accidents can be minor or major and this may determine the action to take depending on the nature of the accident. The dip side of being involved in a car accident is; people get shocked and confused while others get injured. The onlookers are also in shock and some actions may be delayed in the process which may cost lives. Here is what you should do while at the scene and the claims report requirements to your insurance company.
Look out for any Injuries
While at the scene of the accident, inspect the vehicle to establish the state of the occupants before walking away. The priority is usually safe of the people at the scene and not how hard the cat was hit! Ensure that everyone is okay and if there are some injuries, get the people or yourself medical assistance urgently. If there is no available vehicle to rush them to the hospital, call the emergency toll-free numbers for help.
Ensure you and the Vehicle are Safe
In situations where you have not suffered injury and your car had minor damages; drive away from danger and park at a safe place. This helps you escape mob anger and avoid building up traffic as a result of a minor accident. You should turn on the hazard lights, and put in place reflective devices so that other drivers can be alerted as they approached your parking point. Be careful when alighting from your car because your mind might not be clear as a result of shock. Stay calm and ensure you visit the hospital for cross-examination in case you got injured and did not notice.
Contact the Police if Necessary
It is always advisable to report any accident to the police no matter how small. Some insurance companies may require you to give a police report on the accidents for compensation; in such a case do so. If the accident is not major, you may just need to report it to the police depending on the traffic policies of the land.
Ensure you Document the Scene
Use your smartphone to document as much as you can about the scene. You should take photographs of the damaged parts of the car, and the exact position of the road taking note of the street name, and the direction each vehicle was facing. This information should be taken before you drive away from the scene. If the collision was between two cars, take the details of the other car. This information helps in cases when reporting the claim to the police and your insurance company for compensation. Take note of the exact time the accident happened, the car occupants, who were injured, and the extent of property damage.
Refrain From Roadside Discussions About the Accident Circumstances
Any accident scene attracts a crown within minutes. If you are at the center of the incident, avoid discussing who is responsible for what happened with onlookers. The crowd may get angry at the person responsible and chaos often erupts from that discussion. If your car is not badly damaged, stay in it, calm down and avoid interacting with strangers on the road. Avoid aggressive drivers because further discussions may cause more harm than good.
Contact a Tow Truck if Necessary
If the car is badly damaged such that it cannot be driven, call a tow truck to pull it to the repair center. If the police have arrived at the scene, ask them to help you get a tow truck. Some manufacturers offer these services too; if this applies to your manufacturer ask them to connect you with a tow truck.
Call Your Car Insurance Provider
Some drivers may be tempted to settle on a cash deal to avoid following up compensation with the insurance. This may seem good at the moment but in a case where other damages occur later as a result of the accident; the insurer may not compensate. Ensure that you leave the accident scene with the police report which you present to your insurance company. This comes through in cases where the insurance cover of the other driver’s car is not sufficient to repair yours. Your insurance comes in to top up the rest provided they have the police report and are satisfied with settling the claim.
See Your Doctor
Depending on the prevailing circumstance at the accident scene; one may not notice that they suffered some injuries. You may end up experiencing pain in some of your body parts and headaches after some days. This could be an indication that you had an internal injury or a physical one that you had not noticed. Visiting a doctor is advisable so that they cross-examine all the body parts through scans, especially the head.
Get Ready to Present Your Claim
Be proactive by logging into your insurance app and listing everything they require when reporting the claim. Put together all documents, documentation from the scene, and the police report so that you are ready for the process. This ensures that you are calm and peaceful through this process and avoids unnecessary pressure.
Car accidents occur to anyone even to the most careful and experienced drivers. It is advisable to have all the information needed on how to respond during such times so that you don’t experience panic attacks even with minor accidents. It is important to remain sober and calm when accidents happen and avoid physical and emotional confrontations. In cases where the accident was major with fatalities, call the police and organize, if in a position to, how to offer medical assistance to the victim. Follow up with your insurance company so that you get your car repaired in the shortest time possible so that you can hit the road again. Always remain optimistic that you are safe and do not operate in fear of having yet another accident.