Getting into a car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences that many people experience during their lifetimes. Unfortunately, car accidents are rather common, with one-in-four Americans getting into one during their lifetimes. Since car crashes are so common, it is important for everyone to understand what to do if they find themselves in one.
There are a few important steps that everyone should take if they find themselves in a car crash.
The first step is to make sure your vehicle is in a safe position, if possible. If you end up in the middle of a highway during a crash, and you can pull over to the side of the road, then do that.
The next thing you’d want to do after getting into a car crash is check on your own safety and the safety of any passengers in your vehicle. If you and your passengers seem okay, then go over to the other vehicle and check on the driver and any passengers to make sure they are okay.
Next, you’ll want to call 911 and get emergency assistance. If you or the other driver have been unable to get your car out of the road, or if anyone is injured, then you have an emergency, and should tell the operator that. If the cars are in a safe place and no one seems hurt, just let the operator know that you are reporting a car crash and need police assistance, but no one is in immediate danger.
Once the police have been notified of the accident, you and the other driver can exchange pertinent information that you will need when calling your insurance company. You should get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, drivers license number, and insurance information (policy number, company name, covered driver’s etc.). You should also write down the make and model of the other driver’s vehicle and even get their car’s VIN number if possible. Getting this information upfront will make it easier to file your insurance claim.
Another important part of preparing for your insurance claim is making sure that you document everything about the crash as much as possible. Take photos of the scene, including any damage to both cars. Write down or record any eyewitness accounts. Take photos of any injuries you have. Any documentation can be helpful when you’re filing a claim.
If you or one of your passengers have been injured, you’ll also want to get medical help right away, as you will need medical documentation if you want to include injuries sustained during the crash on your claim.
Lastly, you need to file a claim with your insurance as soon as possible. As Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers from the Demas Law Group explain, the sooner you file your claim, the easier it will be to process it. If your insurance company accepts your claim, then the process of dealing with your accident is complete. However, if they reject your claim or assign you unfair blame for an accident, you may need to get the assistance of a lawyer to see how you can fight for the compensation you deserve.
While car accidents are never pleasant, following these steps makes the processes of dealing with one much easier.