What to do in Event of an Auto Accident
At some point in your life, you or someone you love will probably be involved in a vehicular accident. It may simply be a bump in the parking lot, or you could end up in a more serious accident where people are injured. In any case, knowing how to react to an accident will improve the outcome for everyone involved.
You may be wondering, "Why do I need to know?" If you do not follow the proper procedure your settlement may be delayed, become complicated or your insurance company may have grounds to deny your claim. In addition, you could face fines if you do not follow legal procedures. Being aware of the steps to follow will help you when you file police reports and when you claim for insurance compensation.
As a precautionary measure, keep first aid supplies and an emergency kit in your car. A bright orange vest, a cell phone, a disposable camera and a fire extinguisher are all helpful items to have in case of an accident.
If you are in a moving vehicle when an accident occurs, immediately and safely pull over to the side of the road, turn off your car, and turn on your hazard lights. Check to see if anyone is hurt. If there is an injured person, do not move them until you take standard first aid measures.
- Call 999 and inform them of any injuries.
- Trade information with everyone involved in the accident. Be sure to exchange the following:
- Name, address, phone number of all drivers
- Name, address, phone number of all passengers or witnesses
- Driver's license numbers and license plate numbers
- Insurance companies of all vehicles involved
- Certificate number or policy number
- Registered owners of all cars
- Year, model, make, etc. of all cars involved
- Do not discuss what happened with anyone else but the police. Do not accept liability, and do not make accusations. These comments may be used against you later. If time and accident conditions allow, take notes about your perception of what happened.
- Immediately report the accident to the police, and to your insurance company. Should you delay you may find that the other driver has filed a report stating that the accident was your fault.
- If you have or suspect an injury, visit a doctor immediately.
Following these simple steps will keep the accident scene as safe as possible, and will help to ensure that no one has to bear additional or unnecessary stress. The next time you are involved in an accident, whether it be a fender-bender or a rollover, don't panic. Now you know the proper procedure for dealing with this type of situation, try to stay calm.
For more information, call
800 CARE (2273)