When you drive, you enjoy the freedom and convenience it gives you to be able to get from point A to point B. The last thing you want to deal with during your journey is an accident. Yet the risk of a car crash is very real, so it is important to know what to do with your first car accident before it happens, because once it does, stress and fear make it hard to think clearly and react properly.
Right after you are involved in an accident involving another vehicle or pedestrian, your top priority is to get help. If you are injured, then call an ambulance. Even if you feel fine, you want to see a doctor as soon as possible, because adrenaline can hide pain, and symptoms can take time to appear. You also want to call the police to make an official report, which can be helpful when you file an insurance claim.
Let your auto insurance agent know you got into an accident. Do not make an official statement, admit fault, or give more details than necessary, especially to the other driver’s insurer. Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible, so anything you say can be used against you. Interview with several car accident lawyers to find professional guidance through the complex legal claims process.
Once you know everyone is ok, ask the other driver involved for his or her contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance policy, then share yours as well. Note the make, model, and license plate of the other vehicle, as well as the time, location, weather, and road conditions. Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage. You’ll need this information to prove fault, injury, and damages.
Your first car accident can be scary, but by being prepared, you can increase the chances that the insurance company will approve your claim with little or no obstacles and give you the full amount you qualify for under the policy based on the circumstances. If another accident should come your way again in the future, you will have experience on how to handle it properly.