What to do after a Car Accident
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Car accidents can be an emotional and challenging event to deal with, even if it's a simple dented bumper. The most important thing to do is keep a clear head and stay calm. What you do next might vary slightly depending on the circumstances, but generally, there are a few key steps you will always want to take if you find yourself in an accident.
1. Make Sure No One Is Hurt
The very first thing to do is make sure everyone is alright. This includes you and anyone in your car. If anyone needs medical attention or are complaining of any pain (especially around the neck and back region) call emergency services for an ambulance.
2. Exchange Information
After confirming that no one is hurt, exchange information with the other driver. If they refuse to give you any information, call for a police officer to come to the scene and write a report. Unless it is a case in which you are 100% at fault (Rear end bumps or hitting a parked car), you are going to want to have a police report written.
3. Take Pictures
Take pictures of both cars' damages, their plate number, as well as their insurance information if they provide it. The points of impact and type of damage done in an accident can go a long way in helping insurance companies determine the proximate cause of an accident and help with liability negotiations.
4. Get a Police Report
As stated prior, unless you are 100% liable for the accident, call for a police report. If the other driver is acting particularly aggressive or is refusing to provide information and you fear they might flee the scene, you can call emergency services to expedite the process. Also, try to determine if there are any witnesses and obtain their information as well and if possible convince them to wait at the scene so that they can provide statements to the police as well.
5. Call Your Insurance
Next, you want to report the accident to your insurance company. They will take the necessary information such as your name, policy number, a basic description of the accident, and if there are any injuries. From there, your claim will be passed along to a claims adjuster to handle and get an inspection scheduled.
If the car is safely drivable, many insurance companies provide the option for a photo inspection which can be done through their app on a smartphone or tablet. If the car is not safely drivable, your insurance will generally facilitate a single tow to the shop of your choice, in addition to the police tow if necessary. Your claims representative will walk you through the specific process, as this varies from company to company, and depends on your coverage.
6. Extenuating Circumstances
Not all accidents are simple dents. Sometimes things can go very awry from what one might typically expect. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding out of the ordinary occurrences.
- If the other driver is acting aggressively or in a threatening manner, call emergency services immediately and stay in your car. Do not engage with them, and photograph their plate or take down their plate number if possible.
- If the other driver flees the scene, try to get their plate number or a photo of their plate. Do not chase them and call emergency services and have an officer write the report on the scene. The report has to be written by the precinct which covers where the accident occurs, so giving an extended chase may make more work for you in the long run.
- If any of the involved vehicles are smoking, have steam coming from under the hood or any other part of the car, or are on fire, immediately call emergency services and get a safe distance from the accident site.
If you are involved in an accident, it is important to find an accident repair garage that you can trust. Follow the link below to contact a car repair mechanic in Watford.