26 Oct How to: Handle a Car Accident
Know what to do when faced with a car crash.
Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. The good news is that most of them involve only property damage, but one in three accidents involved personal injury. With two out of every ten accidents leading to fatal injuries, it’s essential that drivers know how to handle a car accident – as well as safe driving habits!
However minor you think the accident is, you must stop. Failing to do so could land you into a lot of trouble if it is classified as a hit and run accident. Pull over to the side of the road safely and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.
If anyone has been injured in the car accident you should call the police or ambulance if necessary. The police should also be called if the car accident is blocking the road or if you feel there was foul play involved, for example, if you think that the driver deliberately caused an accident to make a fraudulent insurance claim.
Give an accurate statement
When the police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you don’t know certain facts, inform the investigating officer. You should also make sure statements made by other people involved in the accident are accurate as well.
Give and collect details
When you’re involved in a car accident, you’re obliged to give your name and address to anyone else involved. Avoid saying sorry or accepting the blame for the accident until you know precisely what happened as it could count against you later on. Also ask the other drivers involved for their details, such as name, car insurance details, license plate number, and gather as much information about the crash as possible. Better yet, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles.
Report the accident
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Let your insurer know that you were involved in a car accident, and they will handle it from there on out! Typically, they will ask for details, and may send a claims adjuster to inspect your vehicle. After inspection, you’ll be sent a settlement offer, to which you’ll pay the deductible and the insurance policy will provide for the remaining balance.