You hate it, we hate it and everyone hates it: being involved in a car accident is one of the most arduous experiences any individual can have. Aside from the physical trauma of two 4,000 pound+ vehicles colliding at high speeds, all the paperwork and possible legal proceedings can be equally taxing. Few people realize that the most important time in this process is directly after an accident. We understand that it can be difficult to collect one’s self after such an event. To help alleviate some of that stress, we have compiled a quick checklist of the most important Do’s and Don’ts in case you find yourself in this unfortunate position:
- Assess your injuries: Keep in mind that there will be adrenaline coursing through your body at breakneck speed. This will numb some of the pain that may linger long after the accident has been cleared up. If you feel any form of bodily harm, or you think you may have struck your head against any part of the vehicle, seek medical attention. It is very important that you document any medical issues early in this process. It will help should you pursue any damages.
- Document the scene EXTENSIVELY: There is nothing more imperative, outside of bodily harm, than properly documenting damage incurred by an accident. Once the vehicles are removed from the scene may only have limited access. Therefore, it is important to do so as soon as possible. Take pictures of all damages from multiple angles and perspectives.
- Begin filing your claim immediately: We can’t stress this enough. Make sure that you call your auto insurance company after notifying the authorities. Should you need a rental vehicle or other accommodations, you don’t want paperwork getting in the way of your mobility.
- Do not take advice from random third parties: Should you be approached by a “witness”, unsolicited towing service, or any individual offering advice about who to call-ignore them. Some of these people may in fact be working for insurance companies or personal injury attorneys’ and trust that they do not always have your best interests in mind.
- Do not settle on the spot: If you are not at fault and are approached by the negligent party with an on-the-spot settlement, decline it immediately. Who knows how much damage may have been inflicted to your vehicle? What you can see directly may not be the total sum of damage caused. Aside from your vehicle, there may be residual damage suffered by you yourself, either physically or emotionally.
- Do not wait to call in the accident: After an accident, call the authorities immediately. Do not wait, do not hesitate, call them first. The fact of the matter is that you don’t know how this situation will play out. It is far better to have someone with experience on the scene to facilitate and expedite this process. They can cordon off the area, protecting you from further harm, and notify towing services or ambulatory services if need be. They will also take charge of any police reports that need to be filed which is imperative for determining who is at fault.
We know you can’t be prepared for everything but when it comes to vehicular accidents, you can prevent further inconveniences with these tips. Here at Insurance Nation, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you’re IN the know.