If you’re in a car accident arising from driver negligence, there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself. For starters, you should get yourself an injury attorney in case you or your vehicle’s occupants experience any injuries related to the accident and need to make a claim against the other party. At the scene of the incident, however, here are the most important things you should do.
Whenever you catch yourself in a car accident, your first legal obligation is to stop. It doesn’t matter whether you think there was any damage or not. You must stop your vehicle whenever you collide with something.
2. Never Admit Responsibility
Never admit responsibility for the accident. Remember that your insurance policy is, first and foremost, a contract between you and the insurance company and that this policy says that you must not assume liability or responsibility in the event of an accident. If you want your insurance company to grant your claim, you had better leave the talking to them.
While it is important to avoid an accident, once it happens, you should know what to do and what kind of questions you should ask the other parties involved in the country.
3. Determine the Extent of any Injuries and Other Damages
Start by checking if anyone needs immediate medical care. If possible, do this without moving the vehicles, unless you need to do so to save someone or the vehicles are causing a huge traffic snarl-up. Ideally, you should wait for the police to arrive before doing anything.
4. Call the Police
There should always be a legal accident report, even when dealing with minor accidents. It is, therefore, important to call the police to the scene. They will review what happened and have proper documentation to forward onto insurance companies.
5. Limit the Conversation About the Accident
Don’t discuss too much about the accident with the other party, and be careful not to admit any liability or fault. Only talk about the accident with medical professionals, the police or your insurance representative.
6. Gather Necessary Facts About the Accident
Most people know that this is necessary but often forget to do it due to all the stress surrounding the incident.
Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved in the accident. You should also get the license plate number of the car and write a short description of it. You should also get the vehicle identification number and the insurance company of the other party’s car. Don’t just assume the license plate number is enough because most insurance companies will only record the vehicle identification number and vehicle type rather than the license plate number.
The information you need to file an insurance claim is information about what transpired, information about the other driver and information about insurance.
7. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have gathered all the necessary information, the next step is to call your insurance company’s emergency claims number or your insurance agent. It would be best if you could call them from the scene.
Ultimately, your main job in the accident is to collect facts and not discuss anything further with the other party. Do not commit to anything if the other party suggests you handle things without insurance or tries to get you to admit fault.
Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and ask us. We’re always here for you!