When you are involved in a car accident, it is a terrifying experience that often finds drivers and passengers trying to deal with injuries and prevent other accidents from occurring because of chaotic traffic patterns. Here is what you should do if you are involved in a car accident.
Never Leave the Scene of an Accident
Any time you are in an accident, even if no serious damage or injury to anyone involved, you need to stop as there is a legal obligation for collisions. If you find damage or develop medical symptoms later, you will not have information on the second driver. The other driver will accuse you of leaving the scene and legal and financial responsibility may be assigned to you even if you were not at fault.
Check for Injuries & Damage
Before taking any actions, you need to check for injuries and vehicle damage. If you take this step before calling the police, you will know the important details to tell 911 operators about the need for emergency medical services, fire and rescue vehicles or tow trucks. A driver also has the right to search via a smartphone for a Tow Truck Near Me to find nearby drivers or better rates.
Call the Police
Many people mistakenly believe that they do not have to call the police if no damage or injury occurs. There may be mitigating circumstances that apply, which changes responsibility. You want a police officer to investigate, collect evidence and interview all involved on-site. If you fail to call the police, you are at risk because drivers often change or forget details after the fact. With a police report, you have the evidence to prove responsibility. It is also important to contact the authorities immediately if the other driver leaves the scene without stopping and exchanging information with you.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
No one ever wants to have to make the call to an insurance company. However, it is your first line of defense in protecting yourself against untrue claims. Always call your insurance agent to report your accident and actions so that they are aware and will respond accordingly. You pay for them to protect you monetarily, but they are there to also protect you legally by reducing your liability for vehicle damage and injuries.
Do Not Accept Responsibility
It is important to never admit to responsibility because your insurance provider does not want your comments to hinder investigations. If you tell a driver you are sorry or ask if you hurt someone, it implies you are accountable. Reduce your liability by waiting for a police officer and your insurance agent to arrive before making any statements.
Collect Evidence On-site
Use your smartphone or tablet to take pictures of both vehicles and drivers as it will protect you later from unscrupulous drivers, insurance claims or legal responsibilities.
Follow Up Until the Investigation Is Closed
Do not forget to follow up with investigators, a driver and an insurance agent until the responsibility is established, financial liabilities are met and are satisfied with the results.
What do you think about this checklist? An accident is a scary experience, so a collision checklist will help you avoid forgetting any details or misrepresent the facts to the officer or agents.