Even the most responsible drivers can find themselves involved in a car crash. That is why all motorists must know the right steps to take after an accident occurs.
By following a clear plan of action, you can ensure your safety and navigate the situation effectively. You can also reduce the chance that you receive a denial of your insurance claim.
Check for injuries
Immediately assess yourself and your passengers for injuries. If there are injuries, call 911 or ask a bystander to do so. Do not attempt to move injured individuals unless they are in immediate danger. Stay calm and offer assistance while waiting for help.
Be sure to exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information with any other motorists involved in the accident. Additionally, gather details about the vehicles involved, such as make, model and license plate numbers.
Document the scene
Use your smartphone camera to take pictures of the accident scene. Capture the damage to vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs and any other relevant details. These photos may be valuable for insurance claims.
Report the accident
In many jurisdictions, you are legally required to report accidents to law enforcement. Contact the police and provide them with accurate information about the incident. A police report can also be helpful when filing an insurance claim.
Obtain witness statements
If there are witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and a brief statement regarding what they observed. Their statements can provide additional evidence for your case.
Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with all the information you gathered, including the police report and witness statements. Be honest and accurate in your account of the incident.
Seek medical attention
Even if you do not initially feel injured, you must see a doctor after a car accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical attention can help document any injuries for insurance purposes.
Keep copies of all documents related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates and correspondence with your insurance company. This documentation will be crucial if you need to pursue a claim.
Forbes reports that 1,593,390 injury-causing car accidents took place in 2020. Car accidents can be stressful, but taking the right approach can help you navigate the situation to the best of your ability.