Being involved in a car accident is likely the last thing that you want to think about, but it’s important that you know what to do before the situation happens. Knowing the proper procedure after an accident takes place can ensure that you have the information you need for your insurance company and to retrieve any compensation that you are entitled to from the accident. Let’s take a look at the things you should do if you are involved in a car accident.
Call The Police
This first step can’t be stressed enough. Regardless of how light the damage may be, it’s important to contact the police. This will ensure an accident report is furnished with the right information before you lose contact with the other driver. The report will share both sides of your stories as to how the accident occurred, so that the other driver may not change their story later down the road.
In addition, when you get an accident report it has the other driver’s name and information on it. Your insurance company will most likely require a copy of the report to cover any damages from the accident. This will ensure in the court of law that the driver was at the scene of the accident and the one driving the car that crashed.
If you opt not to call the police, you leave yourself open to the other driver possibly changing their story or denying the accident ever happened. Don’t ever take those risks. Simply call the police after an accident has occurred to ensure you are covered for any future events that may take place.
This is another step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Most people have a smartphone that they can use to take pictures. You want to take pictures of both vehicles, regardless of their condition. Even if the accident was only detrimental to your vehicle, it’s a good idea to take a picture of the other driver’s undamaged car to ensure they don’t try to file a false claim later.
Take pictures of the accident scene. Any skid marks, traffic signs or signals, and any other objects that may be helpful to identifying the scene if the case goes to court. If you obtained injuries from the accident, you should take pictures of those as well. These can help in your favor for any court hearings that occur.
Call Your Insurance Company
The next step is to report the accident to your insurance company. Be prepared to answer their many questions about the accident. It’s likely they will want to know when it happened, where it happened, the police officer’s information, the other driver’s information, where the damages are to your car, and much more.
Remember that it’s important to take the time to fully inform your insurance company of what is going on at the time of the accident. This can be very useful later down the road if there are any hitches in payment from the insurance company for the driver at fault for the accident.
One very important fact to keep in mind is that when a driver reports a car accident to an insurance company, the insurance company will open a claim against that other driver. If the other driver was at fault, you should contact your insurance company immediately to start the claim. Even if the other driver was trustworthy at the scene, you never know if they will contact their insurance company first and blame you for the accident. If you don’t report the accident within a reasonable time frame and the other driver does, it will reflect negatively on your story.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it’s always a good idea to speak to a skilled attorney at Rosen & OHR. This will ensure that you get the compensation for any injuries and other damages that were a result of the other driver’s negligence.