It’s one of those uncomfortable facts of life that at some time nearly everyone will be involved in some kind of an automobile accident. Whether your accident is a major traffic collision or a minor fender-bender, there are several things to keep in mind that will make the job of winning your claim or defending you much easier as things go on.
As they say in war and football, the best defense is a good offense. The best way to respond in an accident is to be prepared for that accident before it happens. First, make sure you have all of your insurance information handy. It’s a good idea to have all of your relevant insurance information, including your agent’s name, phone number, and your policy number with you. These data should be in your wallet as well as your glove compartment. It’s also a good idea to have a pencil and paper handy to take down facts. And keep disposable camera with you to record the scene.
Keeping a cool head will result in allowing you to have more control over the situation. You will also be in a better frame of mind to collect all of the information you need as well as to provide information to the police. After an accident occurs, it’s very common to be upset and rattled. In this case, take a moment to collect yourself and your thoughts.
Determine injuries, if any.
Ask everyone involved if they are okay. If there is anyone who is seriously injured, call 911 to get help. Also make a note of who is hurt and to what extent. This includes all of the parties in the other car as well as your own.
Call the police.
Call 911 or the appropriate emergency number to report the accident. Police will arrive to take a report. In some areas the police will not respond to an accident call unless there are injuries to report. In these cases make your own comprehensive report.
Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police and your insurance company.
It is important that while at the scene of an accident, there is too many emotions and too little knowledge of what happened to make any statements regarding guilt or innocence to anyone except the police. Other than a police officer, do not admit guilt to anyone. Doing otherwise will make the job of your insurance company much harder at a later date when they are investigating the claim.
Get all of the relevant information.
Makes notes of whatever you feel is relevant to the accident. Take down information regarding the other driver and his passengers, i.s., names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance, and other facts. Also make good drawings that will explain how the accident happened and wherever the vehicles stopped moving.
Get more specific in parking areas.
If your accident happened in a parking lot it is critical that you take down as complete of information as you can. Otherwise, since parking lots often don’t have much signage, lanes, and other directions, it is important that you be able to explain where everything was and how it got to be when it ended.
Write down the names, contact information and license numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Also ask for the name of the insurer and policy number of all drivers involved in the accident.
If you have been involved in an accident and think you may be entitled to a claim, give us a call today.