Hopefully, you will never experience the misfortune of a car accident. Unfortunately, however carefully you drive, you can’t control the actions of others. When someone runs a red light and plows into your car, it is not the time to wish you’d been prepared for an accident.
Before getting into an accident, make sure that you take the steps below, provided by an article in Edmunds.com. Taking the proper preparations can reduce costs, prevent further injuries, and expedite the claims process.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car. You should keep a pen and paper, disposable camera, basic medical supplies, flashlight, a list of phone numbers for law enforcement, and a card with information about allergies and medical conditions in your glove compartment. In your trunk, you should have warning triangles and cones. It’s also a good idea to keep water, non-perishable food, and a warm blanket in case you get stranded.
- Stay safe. Leaving cars in the middle of the road after a crash can result in another accident. If you are involved in a minor accident with no severe injuries, you (and the other driver) should move your car to the side of the road. If you cannot move you car, stay in your car with your seatbelt on.
- Exchange information with the other driver. What information should you get from the other driver? His or her name, address, phone number, insurance company, driver’s license number, policy number, and license plate number. Write down the make, model, and color of the car as well as details of the accident. Do not, under any circumstances, tell the other driver or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it might be.
- Take photos of the accident. Using a camera, whether a disposable camera or the camera on your cell phone, take photos of the damage to your car and the other driver’s car and the scene of the accident. These photos can help you during the claims process. Also take down the name and number of any witnesses, just in case the other driver disputes your claim.
- File an accident report with the police. In many places, law enforcement doesn’t respond to the scene of an accident if no injuries are reported. If that is the case in your accident, you should still file an accident report. This report is available at police stations. Having an accident report can help accelerate the insurance claims process.
If you are ever in an accident and think that you may need legal guidance, please give us a call.