What You Should Do After A Car Accident
Getting into a car crash is scary and overwhelming. In addition to being unfamiliar with the process, there may be injuries and damages to worry about. While it doesn’t take most of the emotions away, knowing what to do can help ease the tension a bit. Here are some steps you can take when involved in an auto accident.
Assess the Situation
First, make sure that you and your passengers are okay. Then check on any others who were involved in the crash. If possible and it’s lawful in your area, move your car to a safer place. In some states, you must call the police immediately. In others, you can wait a bit. If you’re not sure, call and explain the level of emergency based on injuries and the movability of your car. The dispatcher can tell you if they’ll send someone right away.
If the police arrive, they’ll handle gathering everyone’s personal and insurance information for the report. If you’re gathering the information on your own, be sure to take a picture of the other driver’s documents. If you write it down and make a mistake, you may never be able to resolve the issue.
Call Your Insurance Company
It will take at least a few days for the police to finish the report, but you should still contact your auto insurance company right away. Prompt reporting is essential for the claim process and to set things in motion. You’ll have to provide all the details of what happened, and your insurance representative can help schedule an adjuster to look at your vehicle. Even if it wasn’t your fault and you expect the other driver’s insurance company to pay, yours can begin the process and secure you a rental car, if necessary. Your company will work with the other driver’s company later to sort out payment.
Take Care of Yourself
While you may be most concerned about your car, don’t ignore any new or lingering symptoms you may experience. Some injuries take a few days to surface, so if you’re not feeling well after the accident, seek medical treatment even if you refused it at first. Be sure to rest and stick to the doctor’s recommendations if you’re injured.
Follow Through with Your Insurance Claim
Some insurance claims take more time than you’d expect. You’re also dependent on the other driver’s report and the police report to some extent. Do your best to remain calm no matter how many times you’re asked the same questions by different individuals. The insurance companies must do a thorough investigation to provide proper payments, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to provide all necessary details and help them help you. If the insurance company reaches out – either yours or the other driver’s – be sure to answer all questions to keep the process moving. Disappearing can negatively impact the claim.
Car accidents are never easy, but being a willing participant in the process after it happens can go a long way to speed resolution.