On a daily basis, you are faced with people who engage in distracted or reckless driving, speeding, and driving while intoxicated. As an average driver, you are likely to experience around four traffic accidents in your lifetime. It must come as no surprise then, that road accidents are some of the most common personal injury claims. Even minor accidents can result in both psychological and physical health issues, as well as costly damage to your car. To ensure your safety, and the safety of your loved ones the best thing to do is be prepared.
In the text below, you will find simple tips on how to handle minor accidents quickly and efficiently.
Take a Photo of the Damage
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As soon as you can, obtain photographic evidence with your mobile device. The photos of the damage to your car, your body, or your passengers’ bodies can be important in future legal proceedings, so this small step can be a financial lifesaver. Some well-equipped insurance agencies let you upload the photo to their app, and send any additional details. A number of apps provide instant access to this service. Photos go a long way when it comes to assessing the severity of the damage. Once you have done this, you can move your car and do your best to stop blocking traffic. If you cannot move your car, put on hazards.
Contact the Police
A police report is essential in procuring evidence and can get your insurance company to provide certain coverages. Stories change, and there is always a chance that the other driver (especially an at-fault driver) could deny responsibility, or file false claims. It’s important to involve a neutral third party to document the accident while the details are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Once the police arrive, ask for the officer’s name, phone, and badge number. Don’t forget to request a copy of the police report. Additional tip: Wait for the police to arrive, and do not leave the scene of the accident before they do. Otherwise, the other driver might take advantage of your absence, and file criminal charges against you.
Assuming the police are on their way, you can go ahead and try to obtain all relevant information from the other driver. Write down the make, model, and license plate of their vehicle. Ask for their name and contact information, and the name and policy information of their insurance provider. Finally, you could ask anyone who had seen the car accident for contact information, in the case that they want to offer their assistance as witnesses.
Don’t Forget to See a Doctor
The consequences of any car accident can be difficult to predict. Damages to your health such as concussions, whiplash, or soft tissue injuries can occur several hours or days after the accident. Your adrenaline might be rushing immediately after the incident, masking the symptoms of injury. It’s important to get medical treatment as soon as possible because a delay in treatment can be a red flag for your insurance provider.
File an Insurance Claim
Immediately after the accident emotions are sure to run high, and you might be tempted to avoid contacting your insurance provider. Remember that, even if no damage was done to any of the cars and no apparent injuries occurred, stories change over time. You’ll still need any proof you can get in the case that the other driver should fire false claims. Check your insurance card for the necessary contact information. Additional tip: Do not apologize to the other driver, and list the reasons why the car accident occurred. They may use this information against you in future legal proceedings.
Accidents happen to everyone, and even the most experienced drivers can get shaken up and make mistakes. Follow these steps, and you will minimize worries in the future, along with financial consequences. And remember, put down your phone, drive sober, and contact your insurance company to get your car fixed as quickly and as cheaply as possible.